about the work

“Valley of the Shadow”, conceived and produced by Nic Paton, is an eclectic suite for strings, voices and sound design. It explores the universal narratives of loss through moods like denial, bargaining and anger, resolving through depression to acceptance.

Musically, it owes as much to “classical” traditions (string quartet, choir and vocals) as it does to film score, world and folk music, and rock.

On a psychological level, “Valley of the Shadow” explores the archetypal emotional and spiritual journey undertaken by those who suffer loss. This was famously articulated by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On death and dying”.

Her 5 stage process based on a lifetimes observation of the bereaved provides an excellent basis for a musical interpretation. She identified that in every loss we tend to pass through phases of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

However, “Valley of the Shadow” is not exclusively aimed at the bereaved, but explores the everyday losses experienced by all, and the ongoing struggle to process this.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it.”

~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross