Extraordinary Creatures is a song cycle, with lyrics by Sue Curtis, for children’s choir, solo and piano, in eight parts.
It was written for – and is dedicated to – The Melody Makers of Bath Abbey by Jools Scott and Sue Curtis as a way of thanking them for the magical performance they gave in the premiere of The Cool Web: A Robert Graves Oratorio, at Bath Abbey in October 2014.
It begins with six songs celebrating mythological creatures of Northern European Folklore.
The creatures of Earth are the Troll and the Boggart.
The Troll is a giant ogre who turns to stone in the darkness, but in the daytime hunts and eats small humans.
The Boggart is a small, mischievous Puck-like creature who lives in houses and plays tricks on the inhabitants.
The creatures of Water are the Kraken and the Lorelei.
The Kraken is often depicted as a monster squid, that rises suddenly from the ocean and pulls whole ships down to the depths.
The Lorelei lives in forest streams, and seduces unwary lovers to a watery death with the enchantment of her song.
The Creatures of Fire are represented by the Dragon, in his terrifying sweep across the skies
And the Creatures of Air by the Fairies; kind and bright, shining like stars in the night sky.
The seventh song is based on the mediaeval legend of the Unicorn tamed by the Maiden, which presages the coming of Christianity.
The cycle ends in the eighth song in which the arrival of the Angel banishes imaginary monsters and fills all creation with light.