A. Walker (2017) SATB (with divisi) and Organ
I. Long walk to the beach
II. Cradle song
III. Childhood beach
V. St Anthony then and now
On first reading Ann Walker’s A Cornish Dozen I immediately felt its musical potential, and felt I would be able to provide a musical setting of many of the poems which would complement rather than impose. I eventually wrote a set of five songs for chorus and organ, which hopefully enhance the ideas already present in the poems, as well as presenting something of the themes and dualities that run throughout the whole ‘dozen’.
The first Long walk to the beach brings impressions of Cornish towns and seascapes together in an expanding procession. Cradle Song then moves into an inner, almost claustrophobic world, as a child discovers an elderly relative lying in state in a forbidden room. Childhood Beach pairs sea and childhood in a setting for women’s voices only, that has a playful, almost naïve energy. Sojourner then imitates the sound of a Cornish pub, where a ‘half-soaked’ male chorus sing a folk-inflected song about a young man William Kalensowe, who was so in love that he gave up his freedom for Charity Paskowe. St Anthony Then and Now finishes the set on a mysterious, questioning, but eventually resolved note, as the poem meditates on the past with a sense of simplicity and regeneration.