Composed by the Canadian Celtic singer Loreena McKennitt, "Mummers' Dance" has its roots in a centuries old tradition in which a roving band of costumed actors travels and puts on performances for people throughout the land. McKennitt's lyrics speak of the beautiful natural settings in which these mummers would live and work, and the musical landscape is matched perfectly in this arrangement, featuring both sustained and open sounds and exotic melismatic figures that would normally be played by period instruments. This arrangement features a break-out treble-clef soloist, with some modern reharmonization included to employ the vocal jazz aesthetic, and a polyphonic, wordless development section increases the energy of the piece before it winds down at the end, as if the mummers have moved on to travel to the next village.
Fully-notated piano/keyboard and bass parts, drums
Commissioned by "Viva Voce" from Penn High School, Andrew Nemeth, dir. (2020)
Video: Loreena McKennitt
Video: Commissioning Group
Penn High School "Viva Voce" Live Performance