Silver Swan

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  •  ~ Image: Lydia Butler & Tim Nunn
  • Project: Silver Swan
  • Artist/Company:

“"A truly timeless experience"” The Stage


Clod Ensemble bring their acclaimed performance Silver Swan to the Turbine Hall after hours. 

A compelling group of performers moves through the cavernous Turbine Hall, struggling to form a chorus and even to keep their balance. Seven unaccompanied singers re-imagine two 17th Century songs, by John Smith and William Lawes . weaving their melodies into a dense and haunting texture to create a completely new piece of contemporary music.

The Silver Swan who living had no note

'till death approached unlocked her silent throat

Leaning her breast against the reedy shore

She sang her first and last and sang no more

Farewell all joys

Death come close my eyes

More geese than swans now live

More fools than wise

The performance will last for approximately 25 minutes. Limited capacity.

Edinburgh 2005

The piece has been presented both as a 'choreographed concert' and as a theatre piece featuring additional actors. Silver Swan has been performed in a variety of venues, most recently in the magnificent McEwan Hall as part of the Edinburgh Festival 2005

Different in every incarnation of performance, theatrically Silver Swan  is re-directed to respond to the environment it is performed in. In the magnificent Rapheal Room at the V & A Museum, for example, the piece was a poetic take on the music where the singers, dressed in immaculate white dresses, struggle to form a chorus, and sometimes struggle even to keep their balance. In the enormous McEwan Hall, Edinburgh, three actors joined the company and played out a parallel drama amidst the dozens of doorways and balconies as the audience perched high above in the gallery.

Originally commissioned by BAC

Supported by ENO Studio and the National Theatre Studio

Also supported by The Leche Trust, PRSF and Hinrichson Foundation

Creative Team

Directed by Suzy Willson

Music by Paul Clark

Conducted by James Keane

Since 1999 Silver Swan has been performed by

Singers : Morag Boyle, Lyndsay Bramley, Deborah Davison, Karen Fodor, Rosemary Forbes Butler, Joanna Gamble, Adey Grummet, Tara Harrison Ruth Jame , Clare McCaldin, Natalie Raybould, Emily Sharp, Lucy Stevens, Helen Withers.

Actors : Sarah Belcher, Zoe Bywater, James Flynn, Satchi Kimara, Dan Milne, Sabina Netherclift, Linda Kerr Scott, Jason Thorpe, Mel Wilson.

Critical Acclaim for Silver Swan 

"A truly timeless experience" The Stage

"The music by Paul Clark is achingly divine. Thrilling textures soar high and sweet, or brush against momentary discords." The Herald Scotland

"A creation that stands our from the crowd" Three Weeks

"Oddly charming and beautifully sung" The Times


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