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979-0-57080-092-6 A House of Countless Rooms (Five Poems for Malene) – full score and parts Available at MusicRoom Buy now (£11.95)


I. Orchids
II. Pulp and Rags
III. Haunted
IV. The English Garden
V. Magic Carpet

Malene's poetry draws us into a world of fairytales, ghosts, exotic flowers and magic, by turns dark and melancholy, joyful and beguiling. Witches and trolls live side by side with girls working in a Victorian paper mill, a magic carpet ride takes us through English gardens of jasmine and foxgloves, a reverie on nursery-rhyme colours illuminates the intimate lives of her mother and grandmother. Although the poetry hovers at the edges of so many fantastical dreamworlds, it also reveals aspects of human love and loss with quiet insightfulness, poignant and honest.

Just as there are themes in common running through Malene's poetry, the movements of my quartet are threaded through with a single melody that takes on the character of each poem, transformed into the 'fanciful shapes' of Orchids, the deafening 'machines' of Pulp and Rags, the phantom's 'kiss on the nose' in Haunted, the swooping arial acrobatics of the Magic Carpet and, reminiscent of Delius's Walk to the Paradise Garden from Romeo and Juliet, the melody becomes increasingly ecstatic as a world of nature is brought into being by the words of the beloved in The English Garden.

The title is taken from the poem Erased from the Shadow of the Self collection of 2013. 

A House of Countless Rooms is dedicated to Malene with love.



11 minutes
Malene Sheppard Skaerved

Kreutzer Quartet, Malene Sheppard Skaerved, Tremeheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance, 17 February 2024.

1 Violin 2, 1 Violin 1, 1 Viola, 1 Violoncello
Composition date


17 February 2024 Tremeheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance

Kreutzer Quartet and Malene Sheppard Skaerved