• John Tavener
  • Fragments of a Prayer (Children of Men) (2006)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • perc; str
  • Mezzo soprano
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Fragments of a Prayer was written for the film Children of Men, which shows humanity at some point in the future, in an advanced state of delapidation and decay. There has been no birth for years and then, suddenly, a woman becomes pregnant, and a child is born (Avatara).
Fragments of a Prayer is a musical/spiritual reaction to this. The only prayer in the film is the Tibetan mantra “Om mane padme Hum”, so I set isolated but related Sanskrit words – Mata (Mother), Pahi mam (Protect/help me), Avatara (Saviour). There is also a recurring “Alleluia”, and the music ends, as does the film, with a gentle hope “In Gottes tiefem Frieden ruhn” (In God’s deep peace).

John Tavener

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