Hannah Paloma - Awst 1831 (solo organ)
Note by the composer:
In August 1931, Dic Penderyn of Merthyr was wrongfully convicted of assaulting a soldier and was consequently hanged in St Mary’s Street, Cardiff. Later, witnesses came forward proving his innocence and in 2000, a campaign for his pardon was started, and is still being fought for to this day.
In my piece ‘Awst 1931’, I wanted to pay homage to the resilience of an unshaken community and to shine light on battles still being fought.
The piece consists of three sections, circling back to the start as a reflection of determination within the community – the held drone note throughout being a metaphor for hope and resilience. The first drone represents the loss and the lack of a clear path to follow; I wanted this section to pay respects to past lives and to reflect on the space between endings and beginnings. The repeated five-note pattern in the middle section represents the past ways in which the community worked during the Rising, and later the melody and counter melody adapt and build to become the ever growing spirit of the community.
Throughout the writing process, we were given opportunities to explore the organ at Theatr Soar and I decided to incorporate some of its unique characteristics into my piece.
Awst 1831 by Hannah Paloma was first performed on 21st May 2023 by James McVinnie.
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