OLD DECLARN

OCTET · 2015

Listen soon…


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The third of four works, collectively titled Island Songs, that were written at the former home of Imogen Holst, Aldeburgh. These works were generously supported by the Britten-Peers and Holst foundations.

Eleven interpretations of the Old English folk song Young Hunting, all notated at source in the Southern Appalachians in the early 20th Century, are superimposed upon one another to form an original piece of music, which comments upon the rights of passage endured by those who migrated from England to the Southern Appalachians and who took their music with them.

The many variations of the song displayed clear changes to lyrical content, structure, phrasing and mode, all derived from differences in geographical location and the steady progress of time — a musical evolution. The notion of displacement and time causing musical works to evolve into something new prompted Elms to present this traditional music in a new way, though new compositional methods and with new instrumentation. It was an idea that would later influence Elmsʼ work Bethia for the PRSF New Music Biennial Award 2017.

Cecil J. Sharpʼs English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians, Vol 2 was one of the books belonging to Imogen Holst, which was kept upon the bookshelves at her former residence in Aldeburgh. The music it contained, which had crossed continents with persons undertaking voyages of the utmost profundity, resonated with the ideals instilled within Island Songs and so its adaptation into a new work to celebrate the human struggle came about soon after reading.

2 PERCUSSION

vibraphone, marimba

1 MANDOLIN 1 BANJO 1 GUITAR

classical/nylon string

1 APPALACHIAN DULCIMER*
1 HARP
1 VIOLIN

*If an appalachian dulcimer is not available it may be substituted for an acoustic guitar with steel strings.

DURATION: 12 MINUTES
PUBLISHED BY MUSIC SALES
ALDEBURGH, NOV 2015