A Colloquy of Colours


Blue, the clearest voice, divined not heard, exhaling depthless translucence.

Green can talk in tongues under frondose canopies, multiplying shades.

Red speaks brazenly till it hears that harmony calls for merging tones.

Yellow laughs and sighs, youthful, bright, autumnal in Janus-headed joy.

The silence of black paints night and mysteries with eloquence and ink.

The stillness of white is a siren’s song, drowning the surf’s restless wash.

— Richard McDonald

A setting of a series of haiku by Richard McDonald, each describing a different colour, A Colloquy of Colours was originally written for the vocal ensemble Tenebrae.

"Frondose canopies"
"Frondose canopies"


25 minutes


17 solo voices in four choirs (SSA, SATB, SATB, SATTBB)

First performance

BBC Singers (workshop performance at BBC Maida Vale studios, February 2006)

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