Solstice in the Borderland
: A concert to be performed beneath an arch

  • G Lorimer

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Solstice in the Borderland is a concert of poetry in which the inherent musicalities of language and an understanding of sound relations are brought to the fore. In a similar vein to the ballads and romances that were a major part of oral traditions, these two works each tell a different, individual story, focused by the four dominant aspects of narrative (place, person, philosophical purpose, and plot), and aided by the specific musical structures in which they are composed. The poems in this sequence are:
•‘Un-sained Strings’: a folksong suite portraying the ongoing history of Ludlow, marcher town and former ‘capital’ of Wales.
•‘Chase of the Beast Glatisant’: a reworking of the Arthurian legends, constructed in the form of a four movement symphony. This poem follows the idea of the grail quest and is written in the voice of Malory’s Nimue figure, Nenive.

My endeavour with this project has been to reinvigorate the musical nature of verse through the appropriation of techniques designed for the composition of western orchestral music (such as harmony, melody, tonality, dynamic and orchestral structures) and the combination of these with a sympathy for the euphonious patterns of language. Through the consideration of current composers, such as James MacMillan and Jeffrey Lewis, alongside contemporary poets, I have demonstrated how poetry may be constructed around a true musical centre within twenty-first century verse, as it once was when poetry was primarily an oral/aural art form.
Date of Award15 Feb 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorTiffany Atkinson (Supervisor) & Rosemary Dub (Supervisor)

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