False relationships: Nicola Lefanu, I am Bread

Redhead, L. 2014. False relationships: Nicola Lefanu, I am Bread. [Printed Ephemera]

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Abstract or Description

Bread is a familiar metaphor for both bodily and spiritual sustenance. It can be found in numerous secular and liturgical texts, poetic, and literary works. Bread is a common experience for a majority of people, and rituals which produce or employ it are common to many cultures. Music which deals with bread has the potential to subvert or reinforce these associations: such music may deal with ideas of life, community, or religious devotion. More rarely do poems and music deal with bread itself, as a physical object, and this direct connection with bread separates the song I am Bread from other references to bread in music. I am Bread was written by British composer Nicola Lefanu in April 1987. The work is dedicated to soprano Tracey Chadwell, who commissioned the work and gave its first performance on the 21st May 1987 at the Brighton Festival. This specific relationship between the composer and performer (collaboration and dedication), and the careful setting of its text—the poem, Bread by Irish poet Brendan Kennelly, indicate that all three ingredients—the singer, the music, and the text—are integral to an understanding of this song.

Item Type:

Printed Ephemera

Additional Information:

This essay was part of a book that accompanied an exhibition and a concert.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 December 2014

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Date Deposited:

16 Oct 2018 10:12

Last Modified:

13 Jun 2021 05:11



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