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Arts & Culture

What's New: Memorials


We remember and keep in mind people we hold dear. Memorials these days can be online, as well as landmark objects, or art objects. There are sculptures, statues, fountains, and even entire parks! We’ll hear some audio memorials from composers Stephen Edwards and Karl Jenkins on today’s What’s New.

Karl Jenkins's Cantata Memoria was written for the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster (October 21, 1966) when a coal spoil tip enveloped a school and houses in the South Wales village, killing 116 children and 28 adults. Cantata Memoria is a large composition -  that includes chorus – both mixed and young voices,  baritone and soprano soloists, orchestra with prominent solos for violin, euphonium and harp, and has a libretto by poet Mererid Hopwood.

"This work is music and a poem. It is not a documentary, nor even a dramatization, but it does include a conflation of ideas and facts that were relevant and by now part of the legacy. The text is multilingual, in English, Welsh and Latin (four texts from the Requiem Mass), while also referencing various other languages for specific words (eg 'why' and ‘light’) in Welsh, English, Swedish, Latin, Spanish, German, French, Dutch and Italian. It is hoped these many languages symbolize how the memorial is at once both specific and universal." - Karl Jenkins

Stephen Edwards is a Michigan native who attend Interlochen and Lawrence University. Edwards is now based in Los Angeles where he composes mainly for film. He wrote "Requiem" to commemorate his mother Rosalie's influence on him – both personally and professionally – from his first music lessons as a child to his career as a professional film score composer.

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