War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation notes

One Yellow Rabbit/High Performance Rodeo , one of our country’s best kept secrets (the secret which deserves to be blown out of the can and nationhood bestowed upon them for their innovation and world class risk taking and programming), has booked my tix to Calgary. yup. I’m on my way home (10th hop across the pond this year).

the reality of a vision that circulated in my brain while on the road to war in ’08-‘10 is becoming others’ visions as soloists rehearse their parts, the children’s choir learns Pashto, the adult choir dusts off their Latin and French, and the orchestra scratches their collective head and checks to see if the score actually says what it says … you want us to do what? let’s just say there are some surprises.

when Jeff Ryan, the composer, first came to my house to talk about the project, the #1 request I had of him was that the work be “recognizable” to the “boys” (and forgive me women, I include you in this designation, it’s not meant to either diminish your work, your femininity etc., it’s just that I lack a better term). I have an undergraduate degree in music (voice) and appreciate challenging compositions, but for the Requiem I wanted lyrical yet modern. Jeff has given us that.

originally I wanted some heavy metal – literally and figuratively – in the Requem, but have decided to work on another piece at a later date which will incorporate that. (watch this space!).

the Requiem has four main characters but it’s NOT an opera with a through narrative. it does have some recurring themes, and leitmotifs. and while the piece is “based” on my experiences, the narrative is an amalgamation of many stories belonging to others. this is not autobiographical, nor does it tell four specific people’s stories. far from it. but what I have tried to do is put a face, a voice, to stories one will hear over and over and over again in the diffused smokey atmosphere of war. and I am trusting my vision, to the visions of others such as Jeffrey Ryan, the Calgary Philharmonic, Roberto Minczuk, Conductor, Zorana Sadiq, Soprano, Rebecca Hass, Mezzo-Soprano, Benjamin Butterfield, Tenor, Tyler Duncan, Baritone, the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus and the CantarĂ© Children’s Choir.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation notes. It was posted here on September 28, 2012.


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