Symphony of Waves logo

A new piece by the Pandemonium Drummers
written for Pages of the Sea


More information

Premiere 11th November 2018 1.30pm & 2.30pm
Folkestone Harbour Arm

Symphony of Waves - About



On this page:

Background

Symphony of Waves responds to the creative brief of Pages of the Sea and to the specific location of Folkestone Harbour.
Folkestone was an important port in the First World War with approximately 10 million troops and others, including nurses, passing through the harbour. Some were troops embarking to serve on the Western Front and others were troops returning home because they had leave or were wounded.
Quote from kentww1.com
The 15-minute piece attempts to delve into the minds of those who passed through Folkestone, and those who lived in Folkestone during the First World War, their emotions, their attitudes, their fears, and their hopes.

This includes troops as well as nurses, doctors, family members, friends, but also refugees, local tradespeople, service providers, and all parts of the local community who interacted with those passing through.

Everybody was affected in some way, and everybody had their own concerns and ways to cope.

Structure

Symphony of Waves is a percussion-only musical piece with elements of scenic play, using plastic and metal buckets and bins as instruments.

It is organised into five scenes, symbolising five years of the First World War, and each scene addresses a theme in one or two waves:
  1. Wave of Arrival
    This scene represents the arrival in Folkestone, how individuals come together as a group, how they bond and form a unit.
  2. Wave of Awareness
    Awareness grows that departure is imminent, and the mission becomes real. This evokes memories of a pleasant land left behind, increasingly interrupted by a sudden perception that things will change, permanently, triggering uncertainty and anxiety.
  3. Wave of Anticipation
    This scene delves into the imagination of individuals and represents a fantasy exploration of expectations, potential scenarios and hypothetical situations of what the near future may be like.
  4. Wave of Concern
    Following awareness and anticipation, concerns have emerged, and so has a recognition that coping with difficult emotions such as loss will be part of the journey.
  5. Wave of Solidarity - Wave of Goodbye
    Concerns have been accepted or cast aside, and commitment and determination have taken their place. This wave represents this commitment and a show of solidarity while getting ready for the departure - followed by the inevitable moment of goodbye.
     

Concept

Symphony of Waves takes cue from Minimal Music and Improvisation:

  • Each scene has only up to 3 music and 3 movement instructions, which are then performed with changing dynamics. 
  • Performers are occasionally asked to take their own decisions as to what and how to perform. They become co-creators of the piece.

The result is a piece that captures emotion and individuality while keeping a clear narrative for the audience. It is designed to be picked up quickly by amateur performers, who are encouraged to support and help each other during the performance.

Following the world premiere at Folkestone, a version of Symphony of Waves will be released as a community resource in 2019, forming the basis for other groups to perform and develop Symphony of Waves.

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