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Boyd: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Recorded September 2022 at Nitobe Memorial Gardens

Part three of the 2022 Bridge of Dreams:

This project is loosely based on our live concert from October 2021, which was, in turn, based on Anne Boyd’s piece which wordlessly explores the dreams of Lady Sarashina, an eleventh century Japanese noble. The piece has its roots in a style of Japanese court music, Gagaku, and we are grateful to ensemble member Risa Takahashi, who introduced us all to this sound world. One aspect she explained is how all-encompassing the sound is - from the lowest to the highest tones - creating music which seems to simultaneously reach the deepest earth and the highest heavens. We touch darkness, but we reach light. As Risa points out, the interest in this piece lies not in the melodic structure, but the timbral shifts - an idea which is echoed in soundscapes throughout this project.

This video combines Boyd’s piece, written for three choirs of four singers, with spoken texts from Lady Sarashina’s diary - the very passages which inspired Boyd’s work. At times, you’ll hear the choirs functioning individually, and at times you’ll hear the ensemble as a whole; something echoed in the images of the singers you’ll see. The piece, and the journal, however, focus on the personal exploration - an individual seeking their connection to something greater, and asking questions about the afterlife.


Christina Cichos
Sarah Jo Kirsch
Lucy Smith
Tabitha Brasso-Ernst
Renee Fajardo
Risa Takahashi
Oliver Dalton
Carman J. Price
Taka Shimojima
Jacob Gramit
Steve Maddock
Jaime Yoon


Risa Takahashi, narrator


Audio Engineer: Don Harder
Audio Producer: Joanna Dundas
Director: Mike Southworth
Producer: Joanna Dundas
Cameras: Barrie Ambrosio, Andrew Shirley, Mike Southworth
Editors: Doug Fury, Mike Southworth

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