Iain Farrington – New Composition for Company Carol Service


Many will recall Rowan Atkinson’s hilarious keyboard playing at the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony with the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle. Performing alongside Mr Bean in the side-splitting rendition of Chariots of Fire is the talented pianist, organist, composer and arranger Iain Farrington who has composed a new work for the Company’s 2014 Carol Service. Here he tells us what it’s about.

‘Run, shepherds, run’ is a setting of a 17th century poem by William Drummond. The text is a paraphrase on the angels’ proclamation to the shepherds, announcing the birth of Jesus. It is a poem that contrasts energy and excitement with intimacy and wonder, and this setting closely follows these changing moods. The musical style is decidedly un-Anglican, with strong jazz harmony and rhythms, nightclub piano figurations and exuberant gospel choir exclamations. The opening words ‘Run, shepherds, run’ are used as a lively refrain that are repeated at various points in the piece. After the initial burst of energy, the scene shifts to the ‘poor cottage inned’, with the music taking on a slow bluesy after-hours quality. The atmosphere darkens as the significance and ultimate tragedy of this event is realised. This is swiftly dispatched with a recurrence of the opening positive music, and the final words are sung with a swinging gospel-influenced exaltation.

You can listen to the live recording of Run, shepherds, run by clicking this link

To sound preview Iain’s other compositions, visit iainfarrington.com .