3 Berceuses was arranged for viola and piano by Thomas Adès in 2018, in an initiation from the Viola Commissioning Circle for Lawrence Power.
The music is based on moments from Adès’s opera The Exterminating Angel, with the first two movements drawing on the yearning melancholy duets of the doomed lovers Beatriz and Eduardo; and the last a version of Silvia’s eerie berceuse macabre from Act III, in which she cradles a dead lamb, thinking she is rocking her son to sleep (‘It’s very late now, Yoli, it’s bedtime’).
The film was created by Power’s production company Âme. Following Power’s Lockdown Commissions in 2020, the company was set up in early 2021 with film maker Jessie Rodger, to produce films that explore the boundaries between music and other art forms.
The word Âme is French for soundpost, which literally translates as ‘soul’. Explaining the choice of name for the production company, Power says, ’The word describes the beating heart of a stringed instrument, which connects all its elements and creates and transmits its sound. That embodies the philosophy behind the new production company – connecting different art forms and amplifying the creative results.’
’I really can’t express enough what an honour it is to work closely with composers on new music. It’s the purest form of music making I can imagine - without the filters or distractions of tradition it keeps us fresh and constantly aware of the basic building blocks of music, rhythm and harmony.’