|Choir (male choir)
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The Fenno-Swedish student male choir Brahe Djäknar commissioned me to write a new work for their 80th anniversary concert. They asked me to choose a text with the theme “the man’s way”. I therefore chose this poem by my grandmother’s cousin Michael Binnie, who gave me the collections of his poems just about half a year before he passed away. I find that society today has a quite narrow role for men; they are expected to be confident and successful, and always choose the right path. But with this poem I feel Binnie reflects the reality: it isn’t easy to always do just the right thing, often you have to watch from the side when a dear person will miss a great chance, and “Progress is made by a series of tacks and is measured in inches”. But in the end: everything tends to work out.
There is no direct route
to the line. Progress is made
by a series of tacks and is measured
in inches. Every other boat
appears to be pointing higher than us.
There are no easy answers plus
there is the problem of lee way.
My father sits at the helm peering
through the spray into his dreams,
steering his course through life
while I crouch amidships,
aged ten, twenty, thirty, forty
watching him pitch and roll, going about
just at the wrong moment, somehow
missing the tide, allowing his opponent
to squeeze him into the shallow, steal his wind.
He speaks to me gently
“As we round the mark ease on the sheets
a little.” We round the mark
and heel into a new chapter.
Things are going to look up from now.
Sailing to Windward – Listen on Soundcloud
2017 May 13th World Premiere at Brahe Djäknar’s 80th Jubilee Concert at Turku Concert Hall – More info
2019 April 25th Estonian Premiere by Brahe Djäknar conducted by Ulf Långbacka – More info
2019 May 7th Brahe Djäknar conducted by Ulf Långbacka at Turku Concert Hall – More info
2019 June 27th Liiton miehet conducted by Paavo Hyökki at Joutseno Church – More info
2019 December 5th Mieskuoro Laulajat conducted by Paavo Hyökki at Tampere Hall – More info
2021 July 3rd Liiton miehet conducted by Paavo Hyökki at Tampere Alexander Church – More info
2022 May 14th at Brahe Djäknar’s 85th Jubilee Concert at Turku Concert Hall – More info
2023 April 22nd at Akademiska Sångföreningen’s 185th Jubilee Concert at Helsinki Music Centre – More info