Music of our time | Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge / Onyx Brass
JAM kicks off 2017 with inspirational works by Adam Gorb, Paul Patterson and Alison Willis. The concert includes works by nine living composers. Ten years after its premiere, we celebrate Adam Gorb’s Thoughts Scribbled on a Blank Wall – commissioned by JAM, present the London Premiere of O Great Beyond, Thomas LaVoy’s setting of Tagore’s The Gardener – commissioned by JAM last year, celebrate Paul Patterson’s 70th birthday and present new works submitted to JAM’s recent Call for Music by Alison Willis, Jack Oades, Mark Gotham, Max Charles Davies, David Ho-Yi Chan and Mark Bowler.
Adam Gorb’s Thoughts Scribbled on a Blank Wall was described on Radio 3’s In Tune as a Protest Cantata. This is a searingly moving piece, setting words by John McCarthy and Ben Kaye, based on the experiences endured by McCarthy as a prisoner in various Lebanese jails between 1986 – 1991. For nearly all of this period, he had virtually no contact with the outside world. Indeed, until the final year of his imprisonment, nobody knew whether he was alive or not.
“You never forget, the pressure of the gun barrel at your head;
an indelible impression on your temple – changing the contours of your mind forever.
Or the thud as the rifle’s butt slams into you;
the guard unseen, hiding his guilt and pleasure, behind the blindfold you have to wear.”
The opening words of Thoughts Scribbled on a Blank Wall by John McCarthy.
Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge
Dingle Yandell (bass)
Simon Hogan (organ)
Michael Bawtree (conductor)