New music from Kim Cunio and Stephanie Dowrick (as part of Lamentations for a Soldier)

482512_10151551867823185_1153905211_nAs part of their new programme, LAMENTATIONS FOR A SOLIDER, a Turkish-inspired performance from the prestigious Song Company, sacred music composer Dr Kim Cunio has written a highly innovative arrangement of part of Psalm 57 which has been recast as a libretto by Dr Stephanie Dowrick. Kim and Stephanie have been creating sacred music works together for more than ten years. (Details of earlier work from Universal Heart Music.) This will form part of their eventual Psalms Cycle.

The words for Psalm 57 follow. Please would you let us know if you wish to use them in any part, along with assurances of appropriate acknowledgment. Contact details for Stephanie Dowrick appear elsewhere on this website. Contact details for the performances from the Song Company also follow – along with details from their website of what promises to be a most stunning event, of which Kim and Stephanie’s Psalm arrangement is just one part.

Sydney venue: St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt. 7pm talk. 7.30pm concert.

For other venues and dates, please check their website.

Lamentations for a Soldier 

Sydney: 14 & 15 April; also Melbourne, Woollongong, Blackheath (tickets via above link)

The Song Company, directed and conducted by Roland Peelman, with Oguz Mülayim,ney (Turkey) and Ekrem Mülayim, composer/performance artist (Australia)

From the Song Company’s notes:  “The haunting sound of the Turkish flute or ‘ney’ (widely used also in Persian music; perhaps originating in Persia) forms the anchor of our 2015 Easter program. East and West collide through the juxtaposition of Robert White’s beautiful setting of the biblical Lamentations and traditional music from the Sufi tradition going back to the central figure of Rumi (1207-1273). The programme concludes with a short, sublime piece from Arvo Part.

According to Rumi or Jalãl ad-Dín Muhammad Balkhí, music is the language of God
and the ney represents a person who has reached perfection or ‘Insan-i Kamil’. As the ney suffers to produce a sound, a human also suffers till the breath of God vibrates in his or her soul. The dignity of human life is central to both Jeremiah’s Lamentations and Rumi’s thinking. At a time when we commemorate the tragic events at Gallipoli as well as the immense losses on the Western front 100 years ago, this message rings truer than ever, from both East and West.”

Please note that this programme does NOT include dervish dancing. It is in fact very still, harmonious and powerful in its contained passions.


Psalm 57  (Re-transcribed by Dr Stephanie Dowrick: set to music by Dr Kim Cunio)
Please note that this has been written as a libretto, enhancing an oral tradition literally thousands of years old and bringing a text alive, drenched in yearning and new meaning.


Open, open: I open to your grace,

To your grace, to your graciousness:

Oh my God.

You: my refuge.

You guard, you keep my soul.

You keep my soul.

Oh. My. God.

When storms threaten,

Threaten to destroy me,

There is shelter in the shadow of your wings.

There, I find safety.

Oh my God.

You: my Refuge,

You: my Light, my Guide, my Good,

My voice rises to where you are.

I trust in your constancy.

Your fidelity rescues me.

In your love, I find myself.

I find. Myself. I find you: You, oh my God.

And though dark words are spoken,

I feel your Light. Oh. My. God.

Part II:

Exhale, exhale, oh Awesome One:

Breathe your light upon our earth.

Even among lions, I am safe.

Their teeth may be spears; I am safe.

Their tongues may be sharp swords; I am safe.

Oh my God. I am safe.

Exhale, exhale, oh Awesome One:

Breathe your light upon our earth.

Some would set a net to ensnare me.

Some would dig a pit across my path.

Yet they, not I, are the fallen.

My heart stays steady. My heart stays steady.

Oh my God. Oh my God.

Exhale, exhale, oh Awesome One:

Breathe your light upon our earth.

Part III.

I sing this psalm.

My soul sings, sings this.

Oh my God. Oh my God.

Harp and lyre and song come with me to this dawning.

Song and chanting come with me to the people.

Exulting brings me to you.

My God. Oh my God.

Everywhere on earth I will praise,

will chant,

will sing.

Everywhere on earth I will praise, sing, chant, exult!


I sing to praise.

Wherever people are, I sing to praise.

I praise your constant love, my God.

Your faithfulness is as limitless as skies.

Your truth is everywhere.

You are my Praise, my God.

Exhale, exhale, oh Awesome One:

Breathe your light upon our earth.

Upon. Our. Earth.