This coming together of poets and musicians after months of preparation, many of them newly-fledged, all of them endowed with exceptional talent, was a central event of this festival, divided into nine sections. It was an opportunity to hear the future, which is sunny. Ian Duhig, the first poet, is not a fledgling, more a wise old owl who lives in an oak, famed not only for his erudition but for poems like goths, which is about the black-clad young people who gather outside Leeds Corn Exchange on Saturdays. His poem for the festival, False Relations, was a satirical take on the whole enterprise, with lines like: "Composers are smug since Pater decreed/ To music’s state all art must aim./ That composers outscore the lyricists/ Is no extravagant claim – " The pianist and composer Edward Bell, currently a postgraduate student at the Royal College of Music, picked up on the humour in this, and soprano Suzi Saperia added some exciting coloratura touches.

David Denyer won the Leeds College of Music Composition Prize earlier this year, and is interested in scoring for films, which showed in his music, played by Matthew Kibble. This created a sinister atmosphere for poet Adham Smart’s Do all animals have edible dreams? Low piano chords evoked paws padding towards a victim and tickled strings raised neck-hairs as juxtaposing melodies soared. Smart has published in The Cadaverine Anthology, made up of contributions from poets under twenty-five, many from Leeds.

Nicki Franklin, an exciting jazz pianist and vocalist, accompanied poet Adam Lowe as he performed In the Wilderness, which is about a gay man who falls in love unexpectedly while searching for an illicit outdoor encounter. It was a happy melding: Franklin, inspired by vernacular speech patterns in general and by Adam Lowe in particular, has produced a new choral work, Mary, to be performed by the BBC Singers in London this autumn. Lowe is an attached writer at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Ed Marsh’s velvety baritone contrasted well with some heavy staccato sections in Steven Jackson’s music played by Jemima Palfreyman. The poem, Out of Memory, was by Lydia Machell, a long-term resident of Leeds who originates in New York. It tells the story of the singer’s relationship with a computer, and about first love: “You comment on my keystrokes/in perfect fourths and fifths./ Yes, that’s good.”

Joanne Brandon’s Shunned Street explores the legend of Pope Joan, who purportedly gave birth in the street of the title: “Robes bled out into muck and stone/no one touched me,/ though I was holy”. Ella Jarman-Pinto, who has just been accepted as one of six composers into the Adopt-a-Composer scheme run by Making Music and Sound and Music, provided a warmly sympathetic score.

Shamshad Khan provided one of pair of poems inspired by the mass disturbances in several British cities last August, the other one being by Rommi Smith. Khan’s set fire was also written in response to Psalm 109 – it is a call for love and kindness. Composer and pianist James Lipka (in his final year at Leeds College of Music) evoked a prayer intoned against background flames and running crowds. Baritone Christopher McKeon began and ended with effective sotto voce moments during which he put his head under the piano lid, in a strong performance.

Rommi Smith’s Nobody’s Children is an angry poem which gets into the shoes of “the man with nothing left to lose” as it deals with the question of why a diversity of people got involved in those destructive events. Smith is definitely fully fledged: she is a familiar, much admired local figure. Stuart Mitchell (currently studying for a Master’s degree in composition) provided a score which did full justice to Smith’s work, somewhat reminiscent of Britten, with the feeling of an oncoming threat to it, which was well-conveyed by baritone Sean Webster. The key line for me was “I strike the match and let it make – the news!”

Catriona Morison is a wonderful mezzo-soprano who gave a thoughtfully histrionic performance of Amy McCauley’s Inhale Heart, music by Lewis Murphy, who is in his third year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The poem refers to an urban myth in which a woman speaks to, and for, her husband’s heart, which she wears in a box hanging from her neck. Morison was mistress of the macabre: her cries and her pauses were awe-inspiring.

Finally, Davis Tait’s poem, The Canal, which deals with the horrors and the grotesque futility involved in the construction of the White Sea Canal in Stalin’s time, was heard set to music by Birmingham-based composer Nicholas Stuart, sung by soprano Ruth Hopkins. The opening chords were spectacularly violent, a fitting accompaniment for the matter-of-fact qualities of the words.