our share of night to bear

for Hildegarde in the Atrium by Roelof Temmingh

for soprano, trombone, percussion, 6 pianos

The Royal College of Music’s new atrium has a beautiful, luminous acoustic ... constantly demonstrated by the music that floats in from our upstairs practice rooms.

Web score and recording

The premiere of this work used an automatic web score that displayed the score one phrase at a time to the players.

Explore the web score here, together with a recording of the premiere.

our share of night to bear is a setting of the poem with the same title by Emily Dickinson.

Our share of night to bear,

Our share of morning,

Our blank in bliss to fill,

Our blank in scorning.

Here a star, and there a star,

Some lose their way.

Here a mist, and there a mist,


Emily Dickinson: Our share of night to bear

This work is more of a dramatisation of the poem, rather than a faithful song-like setting. “Night” is dark, turbulent, and horrifying, a musical overload and breakdown with a heavy dose of “scorning” – pianistic sarcasm. It posesses the opening soundworld and later intrudes twice, but soon evaporates into the calm of “day.”


Eyra Norman, soprano and vocal art James Parkinson, trombone Toril Azzalini-Machecler, percussion Cristiana Achim, piano 1 Roelof Temmingh, piano 2 and project director Arthur Di Francesco, piano 3 Ilayda Oguz, piano 4 Osman Tack, piano 5 Aidan Chan, piano 6 George Campbell, web consultant RCM Chamber Music and Digital Learning teams

Demo track

Beware: the beginning is loud!

Full score

For best results use a tablet or computer. Click the magnifying glass to zoom in, and then use [+] to zoom further.

Backdrop image: RCM atrium