To mark the centenary of the end of World War I, the Military Wives Choirs – 69 choirs from across Britain and abroad – commissioned Owain to write a piece for their album, ‘Remember’.
The text for Owain’s work, ‘The Poppy Red’, is inspired by the 1918 poem ‘We Shall Keep The Faith’ by Moina Michael, itself inspired by John McCrae’s ‘In Flanders Fields’.
The recording brought together 1105 voices with The Band of the Household Cavalry, conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton.
The Military Wives Choirs is a registered charity working in conjunction with SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. They are celebrating the diversity in their network as choirs contain military wives, female serving personnel, veterans, mothers, sisters and daughters, as well as others with a military connection. A total of 1105 singers from 69 choirs, including 93 singers from overseas choirs, took part in seven recording sessions across the UK. The Choirs’ first album ‘In My Dreams’ featured five choirs, the second album ‘Stronger Together’ had 24 choirs and 760 singers, and the third album ‘Home for Christmas’ featured 65 choirs and 1006 singers, a growth that underlines the importance of the solidarity and strength of the network.
A Military Wives Choirs member summed up the project: “The women of 100 years ago are exactly the same as us. Proud, adaptable, capable and supportive. We owe it to our ancestors to commemorate what they did for us to have the freedom we have today.”
Music for the album centres on five original songs by prestigious composers from the worlds of classical, pop and film music.
The album also includes music from ages past and present, referencing upbeat World War I marching songs, iconic regimental and service marches, beautifully contemplative remembrance pieces and contemporary songs reflecting the choirs’ world, all with a fresh take through creative arrangements and collaboration with world-class military musicians, specifically The Band of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Marines Corps of Drums.
‘Remember’ is due for release on 29th June 2018, to coincide with Armed Forces Day the following day (30th June) which offers a chance for the public to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.