takes for its title that of a series of three radio documentaries made by Canadian pianist Glenn Gould for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation between 1967 and 1977 (The Idea of North, The Latecomers & The Quiet in the Land). One might describe each of these documentaries as "contrapuntal radio", for the recordings of the interviewees are edited by Gould to overlap and run simultaneously for long periods of time.
My work, which sets three poems (two by William Butler Yeats and one by Edward
Thomas) in three movements, echoes Gould's fascination with the ambiguity of
withdrawal. In each text, however, it is a bird which stands for the
character of isolation. The strings, harp, solo singers and chorus provide a
gently contrapuntal commentary on Gould's vision throughout the piece.