Hope Still Shines For You
(developed from All Clear - Leaving Shelter - Finale)
Composed, recorded and produced by Nicholas Peters (July-December 2010, remixed August 2011)
Nicholas Peters: Korg X5D Music Synthesizer, Korg KARMA Music Workstation, Ableton Live, Clarinet, Vocals, Recording & Production.
Katherine Ann Jewkes: Soprano.
Lyrics by Nicholas Peters (July 2010):
"Through your pain and sadness,
Longing Times of gladness,
Even through your darkness,
Hope still shines for you."
About the Piece
Hope Still Shines For You is a recorded chorus work developed from an earlier composition entitled All Clear - Leaving Shelter - Finale from Nicholas's contemporary dance soundtrack for I don't know why... but we felt safer down there! based on the 1940 Coventry Blitz (March-May 2009). In its original format and context, All Clear - Leaving Shelter - Finale was used as a reflective 'lullaby' piece at the end of an original dance work, during which the dancers signified the civilians leaving the safety of their shelters to return to see the horrific destruction of their city and homes. The previous fifteen minutes of music had exposed the audience to ear-piercing sirens, plane bombing runs, distorted screams of suffering and room-shaking sub-bass frequencies. A hint of the lullaby theme for the finale was included within this torturous music in the form of a single music box, mixed very faintly under the terrifying bombing sounds. The finale began with the "All Clear" air raid siren leading into the wordless vocalise sung by Katherine Jewkes, supported with synthesized orchestrations and additional wordless vocals performed by the composer. As the vocal harmonies and instrumentation faded out, multi-tracked samples of Winston Churchill's iconic We Shall Fight on the Beaches speech faded in, building up to a gentle crescendo on the line "We shall never surrender!" before fading out completely, leaving one single soprano voice to haunt, yet comfort, the audience with the simple lullaby melody before it too faded into time, distance and memory. In July 2010 Nicholas decided to revise the piece, writing an original stanza (see above) and removing it from its original wartime context (and indeed its context as a piece to accompany a contemporary dance performance), yet still maintaining the overall mood of reflection, innocence and hope of the original composition. The wordless soprano vocals were re-used from the original recording of the piece, as were most of the synthesized orchestrations (albeit subject to changes in balance, structure and manipulation), although the newly-added lyrics were sung and performed by the composer and additonal orchestrations were introduced, including two clarinet lines as well as several supernumerary synthesizer parts. The new worded vocals and the additional instrumental parts were recorded in July 2010, mixed in December 2010 and subsequently remixed in August 2011. Whilst the end product is clearly a note-based piece, it should be said that the composition exists as a recorded medium and that the composer did NOT notate and/or score ANY of the vocal or instrumental parts, they were recorded 'by ear' and the piece is intended to be heard over loudspeakers or through headphones.
Listen to Hope Still Shines For You by clicking here. NB: This link will open in a new window and it will take you directly to a high-quality audio recording of the work in Nicholas's SoundCloud Profile.