Composed for Akademiska Damkören Lyran
Dedicated to Our Earth
Opus Number 65
Category Choral music  
Year 2019
Duration 30 min
Orchestration Female Choir (SSSSAAAA), tape, light and video projection  
Availability Gehrmans Musikförlag

 

Program note

The global crisis is a problem with many very many faces, which I have chosen to enlighten in my work “Requiem for Our Earth”. All nations are part of the global crisis, and I don’t want to point a finger at any others, but rather look at the problems in our own backyard, which are ours to solve. In Finland we have mining laws that allow violation of nature, and we emphasize the monetary interest of the wood industry over the question of diminishing our carbon footprint. Time after time we humans emphasize our entitlement to have the right to eat meat and to exploit “our” natural resources. Some even argue that man was given the right to rule by the Bible. Therefore I have chosen quotations from some of Pope Francis’ speeches, where he emphasizes our Christian responsibility to take care of God’s creation. “God always forgives, we men forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives.” What will be left if we don’t take care of our Earth? This question has unified millions of people behind Greta Thunberg who says in her speech from Davos 2019 “I don’t want your hope, I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic […] I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is”.

 

VII. Heaven (Requiem III) from Requiem for our Earth, Akademiska Damkören Lyran –  Listen on Youtube

 

Reviews

Cecilia Damström’s Requiem for Our Earth for women’s choir, tape and light sounded marvellously from the beginning to the end while shaking all of humanity.  

Susanna Välimäki, Helsingin Sanomat 9.11.2019


Damström’s  Requiem for Our Earth is at it’s strongest point in it’s introduction, where Greta Thunbergs parable of a burning house is effecttively illustrated through Marek Pluciennik’s flames, which are projected on to the choir members. Initially, the work feels like the most important thing I have seen in a long time and pressing themes are dealt with in scenes about mining and logging. Among the strongest moments is the scene where former Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö (Finns party) defends the meat intake of men in the military service, while slaughtered pigs scream and blood splashes.

The choral texture is surprisingly simple and consists mostly of chords which sound excellent with the beautiful voices of Lyran; It is not without reason that Damström has previously been explicitly praised for her choral music. Overall, Damström also prefers a concrete expression, while Pluciennik’s video adds a level of abstraction.

Wilhelm Kvist, Hufvudstadsbladet 9.11.2019


Performances

7 November 2019 World premiere at Sellosali, Espoo by Akademiska Damkören Lyran conducted by Jutta Seppinen – More info

CANCELLED – 23 March 2020 at Helsinki Music Centre by Akademiska Damkören Lyran conducted by Jutta Seppinen

25 August 2020 Young Nordic Music Festival, Tampere by Tampere Cappella conducted by Markus Yli-Jokipii – More info