The Pendle Witches Fly Again

Reeves’s three motets, Spells, Remedies and Potions, inspired by the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, will receive a second round of performances this autumn. They will be at the Pendle Heritage Centre on 31 October (Halloween), at Lancaster Castle (where the trials originally took place) on 8 November, and at the Anthony Burgess Centre in Manchester on 15 November. 

The motets were premiered at the Pendle Heritage Centre last year. They are for 13 sopranos, symbolizing a kind of inverted and demonic Last Supper. The words are taken from the Malleus Maleficarum – the 16th century witch hunter’s manual, outlining methods for the detection, trial, torture and execution of witches. Boiling bodies to make soup, copulating with Satan, twisting limbs and cracking bone, drinking from skin, eating babies and more.Think Megadeth, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Wes Craven and George A Romero…but for sopranos!