Live recording of the premier performed by Kirkos Ensemble.

Words by Lily Akerman

Instrumentation: soprano, flute, clarinet, horn, violin, viola, cello, timpani

Type: ensemble, vocal

Year: 2014

Premiere: Performed by Kirkos at Kirkos: K3, 6th May 2014, Sugar Club, Dublin.

Conductor: Cillian O'Breacháin
Soprano: Robyn Richardson

Duration: 6’30

Heartwood is inspired by the myth of Apollo and Daphne. Having insulted Eros for playing with bows and arrows, a curse was brought upon Apollo. He was shot with a golden arrow to incite love for the nymph Daphne and she was shot with a leaden arrow to incite hatred for Apollo. The nymph fled from the God but he followed her continually, begging her to stay. Seeing that Apollo was bound to catch her, she called upon her father, “Help me Peneus! Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger!” Her skin suddenly began to thicken and turn into bark. Her hair became vines and her arms transformed into branches. Apollo embraced her as she transformed into a tree and even then, her branches shrank away from him. He vowed that he would tend the tree and granted it eternal youth and immortality, rendering the Laurel Tree ever green.