The Armed Man’ is a powerful work written at the turn of this century to mark the transition from one millennium to another. It has been described as ‘reflecting on the passing of the most war-torn and destructive century in human history and looking forward in hope to a more peaceful future’.
The ‘mass for peace’ uses as its starting point a 15th century French folk song, ‘L’homme arme’. The body of the work is based on the Catholic mass, but it draws on other historical sources and diverse religions and cultures.
Writers whose words appear in the work include Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Japanese poet Sankichi Toge. In effect this is an anti-war piece so it is fitting that it will be performed on 11 November, a date marking the 100th anniversary of Armistice day.
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