Month: October 2016

Aberfan Disaster: Final Tribute

aberfan final tribute no sound THUMBNAIL_3Here is one frame of the footage that I discovered at the AP Archives that had no sound — 5 minutes of film taken at the mass burial of 81 children and one adult on October 27, 1966.

“Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep” was sung at the service on the hillside.  Here is a short demo excerpt from Aberfan, Final Hymn:

 

 

Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue) is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  Your contribution helps ensure that we can continue to create the studio recording of Aberfan.

 

 

 

Remember Aberfan — Jeff Edwards

I came across this yesterday and was astounded by Jeff’s straightforward honesty.  He survived an event impossible for any of us to imagine, unless one were there, with a great dignity.

Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Contributions are tax deductible.

A most beautiful story and Music from “Aberfan”

The 50th anniversary, October 21, 2016.South Wales Police Museum

Aberfan: The mistake that cost a village its children

By Ceri Jackson, BBC News

Here are a few short samples from our first studio sessions for Aberfan.

First, “Rain Sequence”, the layering of pianos at the beginning of the piece.  

Second, “First Hymn”, a demo excerpt of “All Things Bright and Beautiful”.  The children were to sing it on the day of the disaster before they went home. 

“Rock Sequence”, the catastrophic collapse.  

Last, an excerpt of “Altered Rain”, the impossibility and hope of life forever altered as people descend back into the village following the mass funeral. 

In deepest honor.

Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue)  is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Contributions are tax deductible.

Photo courtesy of Alan George

Wide view of Aberfan Disaster

Courtesy Alan George 5Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue) is an elegy not only for the people of a village who suffered the loss of a generation and the wounded soul of the Welsh who saw their beautiful country destroyed when the coal mines came to the valleys, but for our world, besieged by unbridled industry pillaging the land and its people, exploiting their riches for a few.  Aberfan is our entire structure under collapse, the condemnation of a corrupted capitalism imposed upon the world, a catastrophe in sound, the truth of our entrapment in a world run on power, violence and commodity, reducing to rubble all that is sacred.  This project confronts and aims to disrupt our complacency. 

Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Contributions are tax deductible.  Please help us make this recording with your donation.

How with this rage shall beauty…

As the day of the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster nears, I am reposting this:

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea… —Shakespeare, Sonnet 65

ABERFAN WALES 1966

“Rain Sequence”, pianos, Aberfan — it has just started to rain.  In this demo sample, as single pianos enter one after the other, you hear the gradual dissolution of harmony.

Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue)  is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Contributions are tax deductible.  Please support the making of this recording.

Photo by IC Rapoport, Aberfan, 1966

Aberfan was a man-made disaster. 50 years on, we must remember this

Powerful story by Huw Edwards:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/aberfan-was-a-man-made-disaster-50-years-on-we-must-remember-thi/

p00ksv3k640360 ICR sent, but not hisA

Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue)  is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax deductible.

A psychological and spiritual rendering as much as a musical one, Aberfan is an excavation into my own soul.  This is the story of power and destruction wrought over all the world in the willful, negligent and unconscious devastation upon the most vulnerable and the call to transform, through my music, the inscrutable events.

We are seeking funds to support the recording and presentation of this project.

Music from “Aberfan”

October 21, 2016 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster.

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As promised, here is another sample of the piano music from our first recording session in Boston a few weeks ago.

“Altered Interlude” is representative of the children’s walk to school on the morning of the disaster.  There are 144 beats in each interlude, one for each person who died, ordered in shifting rhythms:  

Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue)  is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  Contributions are tax deductible.

Photo courtesy of Alan George

Music from “Aberfan”

ABERFAN WALES 1966Over the next few posts, I would like  to give you samples of piano music from our recent, first recording sessions, in order of their appearance in the piece.

In the beginning is “Rain Sequence”.  Here is an excerpt in which you hear the gentle, gradual layering of pianos one upon another, coming to represent “over a week of heavy rainfall” prior to the Aberfan Disaster:

 

Both Michael and I are deeply excited to continue recording, but we’ll need your support to do so.  Every donation is greatly appreciated.

Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  Contributions are tax deductible.

Photo IC Rapoport, Aberfan 1966, one which will become part of the multimedia presentation of Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue).

Extraordinary Next Steps for “Aberfan”

What an incredible, full experience to start recording!

Driving into Boston, walking through Michael’s large maze of a studio for the first time, finding the piano had a wonderful touch that was not too hard for my hands, recording ’til near midnight, leaving to find the Walker Center in Auburndale, Newton, where I was to stay overnight, then coming back into the studio on the green line the next morning after 3 1/2 hours sleep.

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Michael and I worked on one musical sequence at a time, talking about it some, recording, then listening.  We accomplished an incredible amount — 1/3 of the piano parts — over those 11 hours!  A musical sample will be posted soon.

Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  Contributions are tax deductible.

Your donation helps us continue!