Month: April 2016

“Aberfan” One woman’s elegy for a Welsh village’s young disaster victims

p00ksv3k640360 ICR sent, but not hisOver one year ago, Richie Davis wrote this powerful story for the Greenfield Recorder, our local paper.  Our interview together was the first I had spoken publicly about the composition that had been underway for years.

Aberfan – One Woman’s elegy for a Welsh village’s young disaster victims

Aberfan – One Woman’s elegy for a Welsh village’s young disaster victims (page 2)

Laura Siersema is composer of Aberfan (7 pianos, voice and tools of rescue), a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  All donations are tax deductible.  Your contribution ensures we can return to the studio to complete its recording.

Photo from Getty Images by Jim Gray

A tragedy remembered: Aberfan, the village that lives in the shadow of the past

IMG_8629IMG_8631I was struck by this 2006 headline in an online British newspaper, The Independent.  In an article by Barrie Clement, the lingering severity of grief and vivid traumatic memories of the disaster in 1966 are spoken.

Here are a few photos of the Garden of Remembrance which stands on the site of Pantglas School, which was built between 1901 and 1922 and nearly destroyed in the landslide.  Photos were taken by Java Kitrick in a recent visit to Wales.  As President of Puffin Foundation West, she recently awarded a grant to Aberfan. 


Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts.  Make a tax deductible donation  here to support the recording of this full length composition.

After Coal, documentary


“What happens when fossil fuels run out? After Coal profiles inspiring individuals who are building a new future in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky and South Wales.”   Read more…

Recently, I came across this documentary that had its beginnings in 1974 “when political sociologist John Gaventa initiated a videotape conversation between coal miners in Wales and Appalachia. Appalachian scholar Helen Lewis expanded the exchange when she moved to Wales in 1975 to research coal mining culture. Working with filmmaker Richard Greatrex, Gaventa and Lewis made over 150 videotapes of daily life in South Wales.”

The film premieres in Wales next month!

I am fortunate enough too have been in touch with both Helen Lewis and Richard Greatrex, sharing with them my own compositional endeavor, Aberfan.

Amazing this confluence across time and place.

Please contribute to Aberfan for its studio recording.