The Safe-Kept Memory
The Safe-Kept Memory
Composed by Grace-Evangeline Mason.
Commissioned by the Heswall Concert Band in celebration of our 25th Anniversary year in 2021.
World premiere - 3rd October 2021, Heswall Hall.
Grace-Evangeline Mason (b.Oct.1994) is a composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, electronic and operatic music based in the UK. Described as having a ‘keen ear for musical texture - from dreamy hazes of electronic sound to sumptuous choral writing’ [BBC], Mason creates ethereal sound-worlds often inspired by art, poetry and literature to take a listener on a narrative journey. Her music has been performed as part of the BBC Proms, broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4, and at venues both across the UK and internationally.
In September 2021, Grace's composition 'The Imagined Forest' will be premiered at the Royal Albert Hall. It has been commissioned for the venue's 150th Anniversary and will be performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday 5th September.
Learn more about Grace on her website: https://www.graceevangelinemason.com/
About 'The Safe-Kept Memory'
A Safe-Kept Memory began life as an idea to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary but was also an opportunity to celebrate the work of female composers. On the band's behalf, our conductor Becky asked for a piece of music to reflect the sense community that surrounds the concert band. We asked for a warm piece with beautiful melodies and a rich sense of emotion. This became more poignant as we entered lockdowns that prohibited us from coming together as friends to make live music.
The piece is titled after and influenced by the poem ‘The Coin’ by the American lyric poet, Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), which also informs the melodic contour of the work and reads:
'Into my heart’s treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin,
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.’
This inspired the work after reading the words of Les Stevenson, a founding member and president of the band, who enthuses that one of the greatest benefits of being a musician, is friendship. This friendship, especially within the community of a long-standing band, is perhaps to be celebrated as the safe-kept memory of a lovely thing.