Come and see our garden symphony

Come and see our garden symphony


norman lebrecht

July 03, 2021

The disabled composer Lucy Hale, who died in January aged 26, was working on a piece called Planted Symphony which is meant to be played in public, ornamental gardens. Thanks to a new commission, it will now be heard across the gardens of England.

From the press release:

Planted Symphony tells the tale of Lagether, a herbalist who calls upon the natural world to help her heal, grow and be transformed. Using GPS, the music will automatically play into visitors headphones as they move through the garden trails. Each movement will have an accompanying installation by Jon Van Beek including a giant welcome mat and wicker huts for solo journeys accompanied by a clarinet. 

Lucy Hale’s theme evokes ‘nature as a space for transformation’, symbolised through elements of alchemy and enchantment. The narrative journey of Lagether takes the listener on a composition of 6 movements. The first sets the feel of an English garden with the following movements evoking the stirring of potions, transformation, reflection and contemplation with a celebratory finale experienced under a glitter ball. The music combines contemporary classical with electronic sounds, trap-influenced beats and a hint of English folk. 

Hales’ initial composition sketches with Musical Director, Ben Sellers have been developed and arranged by Cassandra Gurling with poet Dave Young (The Shouting Mute) providing the words. With narration and audio description by Nickie Miles-Wildin and vocals by Miryam Solomon, the piece has been created by Disabled and non-disabled artists working together to honour Hales’ original ideas. 



  • Patrick says:

    “The disabled composer…..”.

    No. “The composer….”

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Probably much better than that other “park” music, Stockhausen’s Sternklang, which is wonderful in theory (and the score is a joy to behold) but in live performance is thin indeed.

  • Nijinsky says:

    This day was the day Anna Pertl, Mozart’s mother passed away (1778), here’s someone of the same name, also beautifully honoring what a garden is.

    But ENOUGH of illusion, this “time” doesn’t exist. No one could be alive to experience life if they weren’t from Heaven and forever, to begin with….. whether 1778 or….

    And gardens are forever….