From April, UK-wide and international singing initiative Friday Afternoons launches 12 new songs for young people around the world to sing by Errollyn Wallen.
Errollyn Wallen is an internationally acclaimed composer and singer-songwriter and the new songs take inspiration from the composer’s travels over the past year. Every song in MAP: Songs for Children Everywhere includes a note about where it was written —including outer space, Belize, Crete, Israel and Palestine, and to the British Isles, especially featuring Scotland, London and Suffolk.
MAP: Songs for children everywhere receives its world premiere at the Albermarle Centre in Hull on 11 May 2018. Accompanied by Wallen herself, the pieces are to be performed by a massed choir in partnership with Hull Music Hub, comprising children from Kelvin Hall Secondary School, the Wold Primary Academy, City of Hull Junior Choir and the Hull Choral Union Junior Choir, conducted by Charles MacDougall.
Speaking about the compositions, Errollyn Wallen said: “The collection reflects the experiences that I had when I was travelling around the world last year, but I also imagined children from different cultures and how the songs would appeal to them. I especially asked to record my own piano parts. I think its maybe because I write a lot of songs for myself to sing and play and I wanted to keep that connection – I felt it was really important for these songs.”
Premiering the songs in Hull continues the legacy of the Singing City initiative, that was part of the City of Culture 2017. Errollyn Wallen was also composer in residence there last year for City of Culture/PRSF’s New Music Biennial, working with primary schoolchildren and refugees. Singing City aims to encourage more people in Hull to sing; assist and promote opportunity for new audiences to hear high quality choral music in a range of styles; and to support singing groups. One year on, the celebration of culture has not stopped and now Friday Afternoons is bringing the songs to the ‘Singing City’.
Friday Afternoons is a UK-wide and international commissioning project, generating free online high-quality resources led by the Suffolk-based arts organisation Snape Maltings. It was originally conceived as the culmination of the worldwide 2013 Britten centenary celebrations, taking its name from the set of simple songs the composer wrote for his brother’s school to sing every Friday. Since then a new collection of songs and additional resources has been made available annually, with Friday Afternoons projects being run in schools all around the UK and across the world.
Past composers have included Luke Styles, Jonathan Dove, Nico Muhly, Gwyneth Herbert, Jason Yarde, Elliott Kendall, John Woolrich, Jon Boden, Rachel Portman, Sally Beamish, Talvin Singh, The Unthanks, Zoe Dixon and Benjamin Britten’s original songs for Friday Afternoons.
To find out more about the project and download the new songs visit: www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk