Why use a mixture of sacred Latin text and secular English text? Partly, I suppose, because I believe the boundary between the two worlds is an illusion. Walls and fences have, in my opinion, always caused conflict and I like to demolish them when I can. But I think also the choice of texts was, in itself, a parapraxis: “a psychical conflict that prevents direct expression of one’s feelings or intentions and diverts it along indirect paths”. Otherwise known as a “Freudian slip” – saying one thing when intending to say another but, deep down, wanting to say what actually comes out. Or, accidentally leaving your umbrella at a friend’s house, which really means you want to go back, or never wanted to leave. In other words: a mistake, in word or deed, that reveals your true intentions.


In defining the word parapraxis, Freud said that no human behaviour is truly accidental. Whilst I probably don’t subscribe to such a categorical view, I do sense a kernel of truth there. So the piece does represent conflict – something we all face throughout our lives and which I was certainly facing at the time of composing (and is the cause of all parapraxes) – but it is also an attempt to resolve it. Perhaps the Latin text represents my heart, and the secular text my head. Or vice versa. Or perhaps, as an atheist, I am leaving my umbrella in the church.


The English text is not poetry, in the sense that I don’t expect it to stand alone without the music, of which it is an integral part. I shall be eternally grateful to Sigyn for giving me the opportunity to express the themes contained within it.


The audio extract on this web site is taken from a CD which can be purchased here.

“Parapraxis” for
Bassoon and Choir
To read the text
Click here
To hear an
Click here
To buy the score and/or
solo part with piano reduction,
please visit www.accolade.de
To buy the CD
Click here