So just a day till the end of term and it can't come soon enough. This second term always seems the hardest to me and tempers fray, tears are shed, books are thrown and doors slammed and that's just the teachers! Once overtired, and working on autopilot, sleep never comes easily to me or, if I do drop off the moment my head hits the pillow, I am sure to wake in a start three hours later with a head full of things I haven't done and all manner of morbid imaginings.
Eric Whitacre's modern choral piece, suitably titled 'Sleep', is guaranteed to relax - on repeat on my i-pod all busy thoughts float away. In many ways it is a curious piece. Originally it was set to the text of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening" but it seems Whitacre ran into legal copyright issues and so instead had Charles Anthony Silvestri rewrite the lyrics. His very modern free-text poem fits perfectly; I don't know the correct musical term for what sounds to me like beautiful clashing harmonies but I love it. This is the virtual choir version where over 2000 individual recordings from 58 different countries have been uploaded online - what a wonderful idea!