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Shards release new single Facta est deserta

26.7  2023


Facta est deserta is the new single from Shards, the London-based vocal group led by singer and composer Kieran Brunt. Commissioned by Elizabeth Alker for her BBC Radio 3 programme Unclassified, the song was made for the station’s 400th anniversary celebration of Renaissance composer William Byrd.

Brunt offers the following on Facta est deserta:

This is a response to the beautiful choral work, ‘Civitas Sancti Tui’, written by Byrd who felt persecuted as a Catholic under Elizabeth I's early rule. The words are heartbreaking:

The city of thy sanctuary is become a wilderness,

Sion is made a Wilderness,

Jerusalem is desolate.

I took fragments from the piece meditated upon them, using fractured, autotuned layers of my own voice and distorted synths. The idea was to paint a picture of a distant, broken landscape.”

· listen to the new single