No Worst, There Is None Review (Anglican Cathedral, 13th May 2016)

“No worst, there is none”

The opening line of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ beautiful poem and the title for this orchestral and visual masterpiece commissioned by Ad Hoc Creative in collaboration with Bido! Lito! music magazine, for Liverpool LightNight 2016. This immersive performance performed in Liverpool glorious Anglican Cathedral truly was a fantastic tribute to Hopkins eloquent poem.

The show featured original music by former Coral member Bill Ryder-Jones as arranged by Daniel Thorne of IMMIX Ensemble. Brought to life by the Angelic Liverpool Cathedral Youth Choir and the excellent Salvation Army Brass Band.


The cathedral was the perfect space, with the spiritual vocals of the choir echoing around the huge cathedral to create a psychedelic experience that brought you to another realm, and back again.

Half way though the show, a reader form ‘The Reader’ read out a spectacular rendition of “No Worst, There Is None”, Reading:

No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?
My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief
Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing –
Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-
-ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief’.

O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our small
Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,
Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.


Clearly everyone who is involved loved the project, with Bill Ryder-Jones saying “Writing the ‘No Worst, There Is None’ commission was one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve had.” while Daniel Thorne stated “It is a real privilege to work on this project”. With audience member, music student and a friend of ours, Kathryn Burns saying “the combination of the brass band, choir and presentation gave for a very immersive and moving performance”

At the end of a flawless thirty minute trippy journey, I was left speechless at the marriage of music and visuals in a great setting for a perfect night

by James Ainsworth, Photography by James Ainsworth.

One comment

  1. In complete agreement with you James. We felt privileged to have been a part of a wonderful musical, sensory and visual experience. Long live LightNight!!


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