© 2017 James (Ka Wai) Chan

speaking

for SSAATTBB solo voices

First performance by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Fellowship Octet (2016-7)

Conducted by Esther Jones

        

Programme Note

This piece is inspired by the Living Words Anthology which documents the words of people experiencing dementia, but instead of focusing on the experience of dementia, which I cannot relate to personally, I wanted the piece to be analogous to the way that the anthology gives people experiencing dementia a way to express themselves and turns their words into something beautiful. The piece starts with hazy whispering and fragments of words and sentences, like muddled thoughts but with something lurking behind. Gradually through the piece the textures and harmony clear up and fragments turn into flowing melodic lines and at the end of the piece there is maximum clarity and there is just repetition of the last words of the poem – ‘Think, wish, remember.’

JC

Text

Comments on Language and Words from The Things Between Us - Living Words: Anthology 1

Sometimes you don't feel on top

You think I wish something like this or that happened

Could remember better

The whole life is a mystery

We can assume what we can assume

But we can't

Force it to happen.

 

Every year that you are

Growing up

Puts different words in to your mind

We are changing

For the worse or the better

 

Sometimes you don't feel on top

Point is: when you are talking about one thing

Your mind is going different directions

Sometimes use words - weren't intentional -

They fit.

 

We got to be a goldmine practically of words

Can stir something else up

Think, wish, remember?