untune the sky began in February 2017 with a performance of Buxtehude’s Lenten cantata cycle Membra Jesu Nostri alongside music by Bach and Kuhnau. The ensemble has gone on to perform in a variety of other styles and locations, featuring music from the 15th to 21st Centuries in venues including the cathedrals of Oxford, Bristol, and Clifton.
The ensemble’s name is taken from the last stanza of John Dryden’s poem “A Song for St Cecilia’s Day, 1687”,
As from the pow’r of sacred laysThe spheres began to move,And sung the great Creator’s praiseTo all the bless’d above;So when the last and dreadful hourThis crumbling pageant shall devour,The trumpet shall be heard on high,The dead shall live, the living die,And music shall untune the sky.
reflecting the fact that the powerful relationships between music and language lie at the heart of our artistic vision.
Combining the precision of highly experienced choral singers and chamber instrumentalists with the freedom of solo expression, Untune the Sky has no fixed personnel but adjusts flexibly to fit a diverse range of repertoire.