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This report is taken from PN Review 250, Volume 46 Number 2, November - December 2019.

Even You Song
The Boisterous Weeping of Margery Kempe
Vahni Capildeo
Could you imagine going on a mission to the moon with your partner? Writer Lucy Sheerman and artist Bettina Furnée interviewed a series of couples, asking them just that. The couples’ responses, and images from their ordinary home life, intercut with thoughts on the Apollo missions and moon landing, were transformed into a new Evensong. Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s musical setting, while singable by a good community choir, moves rapidly between unusual time signatures and keys, providing a stretch and stress of shimmer and rest for the libretto. The premiere of Even You Song took place at Peterborough Cathedral on 16 February 2017, as a collaboration with Metal Culture, Peterborough. There will be further performances, including one at St James’s, Piccadilly, on 29 November 2019.1

Each performance has unique elements. Sheerman and Furnée have invited different writers to provide, and if possible perform, short reflections as part of this ongoing project. I was thrilled and terrified to be invited to take responsibility for the reflection on 15 July  2019, the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. On that occasion, the historic Kings Lynn Minster, with its tidal moon clock and tide highwater marks at the western door, was the location for Even You Song. Kings Lynn is famously associated with the fifteenth-century mystic and unruly voyager, Margery Kempe. I went into deep retreat for a week, reading her Life in the original. Here is the result.


‘Going to the moon is extreme.

“But no,” a confident traveller might say. “You can choose many pathways to the moon, ...


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