Intro by composer Frank Horvat for Vancouver Bach Choir Premiere

Memories of Self-Isolation Premiere

One day when I look back at my blessed life, the week I just spent in Vancouver will certainly be part of that reflection. My collaboration with Leslie Dala and the Vancouver Bach Choir on the premiere of my cantata, Memories of Self-Isolation, culminated on Saturday with a spectacular dress rehearsal and performance at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church. Sitting amongst such a warm and appreciative audience was magical…I listened as if I was having an out-of-body experience.

Vancouver Bach Choir premiere performance of Memories of Self-Isolation

Intro by composer Frank Horvat for Vancouver Bach Choir PremiereThe week started when I attended the chorus’ rehearsal. After spending 4 months earlier this year composing and living with this material, I can’t put it into words how special it was to hear actual voices singing it.

Conductor Leslie Dala and VBC soloists Sarah Jo Kirsch and Fabiana Katz

…and that’s even before the instrumental ensemble joined us later in the week.

VBC commissioned me to compose Memories of Self-Isolation for vocal soloists, chorus and chamber ensemble. This sequel to Music for Self-Isolation explores perspectives and challenges faced by a cross-section of society as a result of living through the COVID pandemic.

It was a pleasure to set the poignant words of the following talented poets to music:

Yewande Akinse
Russell Blalack
Jane Covernton
Parvaneh Eshghi
Lesley-Anne Evans
Athena Kildegaard
Vlada Mars

Many thanks to them and the other amazing writers who submitted verse for our consideration.

Through their words, Memories of Self-Isolation looks back at the hardship and challenges that our world faced these last few years while providing hope for the future. It was wonderful to have this large communal gathering of live musicians explore important themes around healing that we need to undertake in order to move forward.

Such a large-scale project does not happen without the support of many individuals. I am forever grateful to Leslie Dala for his invitation to compose the work and for guiding its further refinement in the weeks leading up to the premiere, Gillian Hunter-Gibbs for making the premiere performance happen, and Alice Dearden, Sarah Jo Kirsch and Fabiana Katz for their invaluable insights during the composition process. I am so thankful to every member of the chorus and the ensemble for welcoming me and my music with such an open heart and in turn, providing a spectacular performance.

Vancouver, I love you! ❤️ I look forward to next time. ?

Vancouver Bach Choir Commission

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