November 12, 2023

Listen to this beautiful “Swan Sequence,” a 1,200-year-old poem set to music by Logan Norman

Clangam, filii ("I shall sing to you, my children"), also known as the "Swan Sequence", is a medieval Aquitanian poem sequence written in Latin by an anonymous author, dated approximately to the year 850. The poem's narrative speaks of a swan who has taken flight over the ocean, becoming imperilled by a frightful storm. In mortal danger, the swan makes a desperate plea for deliverance in a manner reminiscent of the Psalms, and is then guided back to safety while giving praise to God the mighty King.

The melody itself, referred to as the Planctus cygni or "Swan's Lament", was widely used in liturgical settings for over two hundred years; notably for the feasts of Pentecost and of the Holy Innocents.

While the text and melody in the present rendition are both historical, the instrumental arrangement is newly composed; and while not written in a medieval idiom it nevertheless seeks to convincingly portray the original narrative.

Instrumental composition and performance by Logan Norman

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