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

Rehearsing Memories of Self-Isolation

It was a very special evening for me to attend the Vancouver Bach Choir‘s rehearsal of my cantata, Memories of Self-Isolation. After spending 4 months earlier this year composing and living with this material, I can’t put it into words how special it is to hear actual voices singing it. At times, I was giddy, at times I was in tears. It was a truly moving experience.

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

All this of course is leading up to the world premiere performance this Saturday evening at St. Andrew’s Wesley Church here in Vancouver.

Premiere Concert for Memories of Self-Isolation by the Vancouver Bach Choir

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’s 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.

You can learn more about the work by reading the programme notes in my composition portfolio.

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 his collaborative spirit, 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.

Looking forward to more rehearsals later this week, this time with the chamber ensemble joining the choristers. And of course looking forward to the big show Saturday night. If you’re in Vancouver, please join us!

Memories of Self-Isolation - Vancouver Bach Choir

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