written to introduce the spectacular highlight of Coventrys Millennium Eve
celebrations will be performed for the first time in public at Coventry Cathedral today.
The five-minute piece of organ, written by Coventry
composer Derek Nisbet, will be used on the night as an introduction to the tightrope walk
performed by Ramon Kelvink between the two spires of Holy Trinity and St Michaels,
Coventrys ruined cathedral.
Ramon Kelvink said:
"At first I was not sure how the classical piece would fit in the with the
spectacle, but now having met the composer and heard the music in the cathedral I am sure
it will work well. Its inspiring a beautiful piece, full of ritual and
symbolism, which will call people to the spectacle."
The high-wire walk, more than 40 metres above the ground, is the centrepiece of more
than 12 hours of live music and entertainment, organised by Coventry and Warwickshire
Promotions and the City Centre Company, Coventry, and supported by a grant from the
Millennium Commission and sponsorship from Brose UK, Jaguar and ntl.
It fulfils a long-held challenge. Back in 1884 the great tightrope walker Charles
Blondin wanted to walk between the spires, but was turned down by the city authorities.
Now the church authorities have agreed to an event that is not just a thrilling
spectacle, but is also potent with Millennial symbolism. Coventrys ruined cathedral,
blitzed in 1940, is now a symbol of peace and reconciliation, known around the world. And
the city itself has been Britain in the 20th century, reflecting in microcosm
all the great national themes of the century.