My latest piece has a rather nice story attached to it. I was asked by my good friend Helen Charlston if I would set a poem she had written called ‘18th April’. This date has special significance, as it was supposed to be her wedding day. Sadly, the wedding had to be postponed.
During their time in isolation, Helen and fiancée Mike have been curating a wonderful series called #LiederRelay, in which they take turns at the piano to accompany each other singing songs from Brahms to Schubert.
Helen surprised Mike with a copy of this piece on their ‘wedding day that wasn’t quite’.
In ‘18th April’, they each take turns at the piano, swapping around during the course of the piece before joining each other at the end.
Helen and Mike recorded a version of this piece from their home in April 2020.
View the sheet music on nkoda here: 18th April.
Here is a copy of the poem written by Helen.
Suppose they had chosen another date,
Later, hotter, colder, wetter.
Suppose it had gone ahead as planned,
Celebration, commitment, hand in hand.
Satin in silence hangs, hidden for now.
Vows unreached yet lived out in delight.
In their cushioned box the golden spheres
hibernate patiently, untouched.
Today they sit in quiet communion
Sharing looks and books and cups of coffee.
Foreheads brush through unkempt hair
The smallest smile, the deepest care.
For in love’s light they have dared
Its reflection will be their glory.
Helen Charlston (2020)