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London Mozart Players and Mousai Singers give world premiere of Paul Mealor’s commemoration of the Battle of the Somme

Posted  26 May 2016 in News  
By Kate Clements
London Mozart Players. Credit: James Laws

On Thursday 14 July at St Nicholas Church, New Romney, London Mozart Players and Mousai Singers will give the world premiere of The Shadows of War, by Paul Mealor; a co-commission by JAM and the Welsh Proms.

The Shadows of War is the Festival Commission for JAM on the Marsh 2016, on Kent’s Romney Marsh. This contemplative piece will join works by Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Britten.

The Shadows of War commemorates the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, when Europe was in turmoil, as it is today. The Shadows of War is based on the original mass setting which creates the structure of this piece.

The Shadows of War is not a glorification of war but of the sacrifices people made then, as they do today. People fought for what they believed in and were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to make a better world. By setting this to music, The Shadows of War will create a state of remembrance.

Paul Mealor writes: “The Shadows of War aims to embrace all faiths and therefore direct links to Christianity have been taken out. This is not a religious piece; it is a concert piece that I hope provokes thought and compassion.”

“This is a piece that needs to be written, using music to connect with 100 years ago and question our actions today. I hope The Shadows of War will sow seeds of change. In its ardent objective to nurture new and high quality composition, JAM is delighted to be co-commissioning this work and collaborating with the Welsh Proms for the first time. This is also the first time that we are working with the fabulous London Mozart Players”, comments Ed Armitage, JAM Chairman/Artistic Director.

Last year over 7,000 people flocked from across the UK to the typically arts-deprived Romney Marsh for JAM on the Marsh. From 7 – 17 July, JAM on the Marsh returns with a dazzling multi-arts festival, featuring many of the stunning medieval churches of the Marsh, curated by world-renowned composer, Paul Mealor.  JAM on the Marsh will light up Romney Marsh, with 10 concerts, 4 exhibitions, 4 talks and master-classes, 4 children’s events, 2 poetry recitals and a Marsh churches tour.

The world premiere performance at St Nicholas Church, New Romney has been made possible with funding from Orchestras Live.

The Shadows of War will receive its second performance the following week, on Saturday 23 July at St David’s Hall, Cardiff as part of the Welsh Proms.

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