I was very excited to be selected for the 2020 Codi Buddies scheme in a pairing with South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus (SWGMC).
It’s a happy reunion: I was a founder member of the chorus and, over the years have put in shifts as their lead bass and assistant musical director. When, in 2013 they commissioned (and, subsequently gave numerous performances of) my Two Morys Rhymes I decided to move to just being an audience member and friend.
The chance to write a second original work for them is an exciting one: I pitched a sort of docu-musical work incorporating spoken and vocalised material alongside more traditional choral textures. After SWGMC requested the piece had a gay / pride link of some sort I hit upon the idea of using text from the membership’s experiences on Grindr (and similar) cha applications.
To make the create process collaborative the choir’s MD and I created an online survey to compile material with questions ranging from ‘what’s your most received message to start a conversation’ to ‘what’s the funniest message you’ve ever received’.
With almost half the choir having now completed the survey I find myself with close to 200 lines of potential libretto.
Thinking about spoken word points to the possible influence of anything from classical singspiel to Glass’ Knee Plays and Berio’s A – Ronne; suggesting the piece will, likely, have some sort of theatrical facet.
As I start to actually get down to writing the piece, while I am not certain what 'it' will be I am thinking it could be very fresh and clean. ‘You remind me of Huw Edwards’ … ‘don’t forget the cream’.