As part of the Performing Rights Society’s New Music Biennial, the Chineke! Orchestra has specially commissioned a new work by composer/baritone Roderick Williams.
Based on the poetry of Chris Beckett, Roderick was inspired to develop this narrative melodically into a piece scored for voice and orchestra -Three Songs from Ethiopia Boy.
Chris Beckett’s book of poetry about his upbringing in Ethiopia was brought to my attention by chance by a pianist with whom I was rehearsing. My gaze happened to fall on the book and I picked it up, asking about its author, a friend of my accompanist. As I opened it to rifle through, I happened upon the final poem in the book ‘The Goodbye Tree’, and a sense of music began to play immediately in my head. I knew instinctively that my search for texts for this very special Chineke! commission was over. The dust and the heat, the rhythms, the colours, the infectious joy, the impish cheekiness of Beckett’s poems screamed out to me as being the perfect match for the effervescent spirit of this unique orchestra. I was a little apprehensive in contacting Chris, afraid he might not be that happy to have me to play with his poetic creation but his response was just as joyous. I know above all else that setting Chris’ poetry was going to be a great deal of fun.
This FREE performance will be followed by a discussion with the composer.
Join us for what promises to be an exciting première by one of Britain’s finest baritones.
Find out more about the PRS New Music Biennial.