A New Song: [for two choirs and soloists]

Timothy Blinko (Composer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition

1 Citation (Scopus)


A New Song is a choral work commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford [‘One of the finest choirs on earth’ – Channel 4; ‘To hear a choir like this is to hear a quality of musicianship with no equal anywhere in the world’ – The Independent on Sunday.]

Originality: ‘A New Song’ redefines the relationship of sound, text and sensory experience in a liturgical setting; a departure from the traditional nature of most contemporary liturgical music. A non-narrative, non-rhyming text is formed from exclamations, interjections and commentaries and fully integrated with the music/sound. Thus, words, sensations and experiences are evoked by novel, unvoiced and voiced extended vocal techniques, sub-particulates of vowel/consonant, humming and song, broadening the expressive range.

Significance: ‘A New Song’ seeks to enhance knowledge and practice by addressing research questions such as: can the simultaneous creation of pitch, timbre, texture and text combined with an innovative approach to synaesthetic communication, create a new paradigm in liturgical music? And: can the expressive range and imaginative scope of liturgical music be increased in such a way that heightens the aesthetic experience of listeners without alienating them?

Rigour: The application of the principles outlined above and the use of new harmonic constructions (interchords) is precisely and methodically applied to form a coherent gestalt – a new song.


'Interchords' were devised by Timothy Blinko when he was 18 years old. Interchords are harmonies built from intervals that successively augment by a semitone moving up the chord from the lowest pitch (augmenting interchords) or successively diminish by a semitone moving up the chord from the lowest pitch (diminishing interchords). They mirror aspects of the harmonic series and a reversed form of harmonic series and create what Blinko describes as 'logical dissonance.'

Reception of A New Song:

‘Thank you for writing such a wonderful piece. It caused a stir for all the right reasons, and will certainly hold a place in our repertoire.’ – Professor Stephen Darlington, Director of Music and Choragus of the University of Oxford

‘It was wonderful and even better on a second hearing. Words as well by Blinko. Definitely the high point of our Nine Lessons and Carols.’ – Canon Professor Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Oxford University

‘I was thrilled by a stunning performance of an astonishing new piece by Timothy Blinko at the Christ Church Carol Service.’ – Revd John Paton, Precentor of Christ Church Cathedral

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2012
EventA New Song [performance] - Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Dec 2012 → …


  • choral liturgical Oxford


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