|Publisher||OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS IN-PRINT TITLES|
By Bob Chilcott
for SATB double choir and piano or small ensemble
Another winning collaboration between Bob Chilcott and author Charles Bennett, this work was commissioned by Age UK Oxfordshire as part of a project to highlight and combat loneliness. The singers assume the role of narrator, guiding the listener on a journey made by boat, with nine choral songs presenting their own stories within this larger excursion. The outer movements provide a watery framework with rippling figures and gentle choral waves. An air of nostalgia pervades 'My father's boat' and 'What we did on our holiday', while the central songs use naval and meteorological imagery to speak of some of life's difficulties. Soliloquies between the choral songs highlight a variety of solo instruments, but these may be omitted if performing with piano.
This piece was written in conjunction with the poet Charles Bennett for Age UK Oxfordshire and was designed to be performed by three choirs of different ages in each of the first two performances in Oxford and Reading on 18 and 19 March 2016. The choirs in Oxford were Choros, The Voyage Choir, and the Oxfordshire Schools' Singers, and in Reading they were Reading Phoenix Choir, the BBC Berkshire Community Choir, and Berkshire Youth Choir. In both performances the choirs were accompanied by players from Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra. The work, written as a part of Age UK's Campaign to End Loneliness, was conceived as a project that aimed to bring young and old together and to highlight some of the challenges we all ultimately face in the voyage through life. Certain aspects of our lives are often framed with memories of songs and it is through the use of songs and refrains that I have attempted to bring to life Charles Bennett's colourful and multi-layered text. These songs are interspersed with instrumental soliloquies, which can be omitted if the piece is performed with piano accompaniment alone. If preferred, the parts for Older Choir may be sung in unison throughout, by following the soprano line. In this published edition the scoring has been reduced to two SATB choirs, but details of the original three-choir scoring are as follows: 1. Setting Sail - Choir 1: Bars 15-33 Older Choir & Youth Choir; Bars 41-58 Youth Choir; Bars 61-end Older Choir & Youth Choir, Choir 2: Mixed Choir throughout 2. My Father's Boat - Choir 1: Older Choir throughout, Choir 2: Bars 1-28 Mixed Choir; Bars 32-36 Youth Choir; Bars 37(with upbeat)-46 Mixed Choir; Bars 50-54 Youth Choir; Bars 55(with upbeat)-65 Mixed Choir; Bars 69-73 Youth Choir; Bars 74-end Mixed Choir 3. What we did on our holiday - Choir 1: Older Choir (except 1-10, which is both Older Choir and Youth Choir), Choir 2: Youth Choir 4. Crossing the Equator - Choir 1: Older Choir & Youth Choir throughout, Choir 2: Mixed Choir throughout 5. The Shipping Forecast - Choir 1: Older Choir & Youth Choir throughout , Choir 2: Mixed Choir throughout 6. The Fortunate Isles - Choir 1: Bars 13-40 Older Choir; Bars 48-54: Youth Choir; Bars 63-end: Older Choir; Choir 2: Mixed Choir throughout 7. Cup and Saucer - Choir 1: Older Choir throughout (can be supported by Mixed Choir), Choir 2: Youth Choir throughout 8. Sailing By - Choir 1: Bars 1-36 Older Choir & Youth Choir; Bars 37(with upbeat)-46 Youth Choir; Bars 47-58 Older Choir & Youth Choir; Bars 59(with upbeat)-70 Older Choir ; Bars 71-end Older Choir & Youth Choir, Choir 2: Mixed Choir throughout 9. Boatsong - Choir 1: Older Choir & Youth Choir (except 41-58, which is just Youth Choir), Choir 2: Mixed Choir throughout