* World premiere
East Neuk Festival
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The title, ‘Memorial Ground’ has a double meaning. It refers to the battlefield itself, but a ‘ground’ in music is also a chord sequence that repeats over and over, on top of which you can add extra lines. Think of the ending of Hey Jude or Pachelbel’s Canon – they are both grounds.
David Lang’s ground will be a few minutes long and will repeat as needed, the way that hymns repeat. This will serve as a ‘bed’ for solos that will be sung or spoken over it. These solos are one place where every choir can bring their own choices to bear: David will provide melodies without words so each choir can choose and set words that reflect their own thoughts on the battle centenary. This could be a poem, a prayer, a roll call of the fallen from the local War Memorial; other texts such as letters, diaries or personal accounts.
The music is being written to be as accessible as possible to a wide ability range of singers, and performable by many different types of groups (e.g. all women or all men).