Wednesday, 3 December 2008
While I was in Lewes, Delaware, I decided to spend my last fifteen minutes looking round St Peter's, the old Episcopal church across the road. Inside the door I was enveloped by the most beautiful organ music I have heard for a very long time. The organist and composer was George Bayley. I had already been told about George by some of the other residents of Lewes. "He's world famous" they had said. I sat in one of the pews in the little church, with it's vivid stained glass windows and thought how much William Morris would have savoured this moment. George's music was so beautiful, I understood why he was so well known. It was a perfect moment - a concert all to myself on a rainy Friday in November in Delaware. I had entered the church on a whim but was so pleased I had gone.
After George had finished playing I went over to him, shook his hand and thanked him. He told me that he had played his compositions in St Paul's in London and many other wonderful places. He has set to music hundreds of hymns and songs, and very kindly signed copies of his books to me: 101 Hymns and Songs of the Celtic Spirit and also The Deerwood Anthem Book. If you click on the title above it will take you to the Deerwood Music Publishers Website where you can order copies of George's music books. They really deserve to be played all over the world.
Although he writes for choirs and the church and I write for the theatre, talking about our different worlds and the creative process was very exilerating. Many people who have listened to Possessed have said that the songs have a Celtic feel and so this connection was very exciting to discuss. Time was short before my taxi arrived but we exchanged cards and contact details and he has since contacted me with an amazing idea which I shall write about further.