2014 – for men’s chorus (TTBB), a cappella – 6:15
- Honour and Reality (midi demo) 06:12
In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War I, I used the creation of this piece as a means to imagine what it must have been like, both on the home front and on the front lines. I’ve always been compelled by what motivates people to go off to war and put their life on the line. So I perused many recruitment posters of the day and noticed that the same keywords were consistently being used. Meanwhile, I also read a moving and graphic letter on a Government of Canada web site by Captain Bellenden S. Hutcheson, a decorated war hero from WWI, who described in great detail the horrors of what he saw on the front lines.
These two sources became the main inspiration behind the lyrics I composed for the piece. The collage of keywords quickly switches back and forth between the “Honour” theme and the “Reality” theme, sometimes phrase to phrase, note to note, and even sometimes sung at the same time. This technique symbolizes the fine line between going off to war for “noble” reasons vs. the senselessness of it all.
The overall solemn mood is out of respect to those who did make the ultimate sacrifice.
– Frank Horvat