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.