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2 November 2022

Vicky Abbott – Writing ‘Ynkleudhyans Rag an Tewlder’

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“I actually wailed a feeling of loss and pain into the mic. I decided it was so weird that I kept it in.”

Mydd said there was going to be a funeral processional walking towards the audience from the far end of the beach. He described mourners with branches for arms slowly walking to an epic piece of music that started with a loud cry or call so the audience would turn to look in its direction.

I read through the script and thought a lot about Kevin. I thought about his grief, the grief he didn’t know or understand and how I would put this deep pain into a song that could make your heart stop. I jotted down some sentences from the script and rearranged them to see what came together. I needed the song to hold the power of that moment without distracting from the story. At this point the show wasn’t at the rehearsal stage so I had to imagine that feeling.

I sat at the piano and read the words I’d written. I found some chords that felt like the dark grief I was looking for but the words did not work. They were the right words but they sounded oversentimental and at odds with the music. An idea occurred to me to sing it in Cornish. In 2021 I had written some songs for The Ordinalia Cycle and an old friend of mine, Fiona O’Cleirigh, had made some brilliant translations for me. Translations that rolled off the tongue and were so beautiful to sing. Although most of the audience would probably not speak Cornish it was important to me that the words were of the place. It gave the song the weight that it needed to hold that important moment. It gave it ambiguity and history.

I tried various beginnings, absolutely loads of them. Then I improvised. I actually wailed a feeling of loss and pain into the mic. I decided it was so weird that I kept it in. It was genuine. I summoned the past and poured it into the song. When Mydd heard it for the first time he described it as heart breaking. That is what I wanted.

Benji Bower – Composing for ‘I Am Kevin’

Hannah McPake – Narrative Landscapes

Crinnis- is this love?

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