thomas merton quote

“Aberfan” First Hymn – Rock Sequence

“On the 21st of October 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a man-made mountain of coal waste slid onto the village of Aberfan in South Wales. The elementary school building was the first structure in its path and the school was demolished by a thousand tons of black mud.”  (IC Rapoport, Aberfan, 1966)

Here is a demo excerpt from my composition, Aberfan.

“All Things Bright and Beautiful” was typically sung at morning assembly.

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.

Thoughts on Composing “Aberfan”

“Art that is simply willed is not art.” (Thomas Merton)

Several concepts were embedded in the process of composing Aberfan.  These became emotional and compositional imperatives, apparent only as I went along.  Chaos, the spiraling of events, silence after trauma, the absolute necessity that what wrenches, what pulls at the heart and hurts, be contained in the tension between how things were and how things could have been.

MUSIC SAMPLES  of work in progress

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.