Old Stones Remember

for children's voices, flute, bassoon, cello and harp

Liz Lane

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for children’s voices, flute, bassoon, cello and harp

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Composer Liz Lane
Year of Composition 2012
Duration ca.20'


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Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-ll1osr1


On a slightly overcast day in October 2011, around 160 children and staff from five schools (Gladestry Church in Wales Primary School, Knighton Church in Wales Primary School, Leintwardine Primary School, Presteigne Primary School and Shobdon Primary School) arrived at Pilleth in Mid Wales for the start of the Presteigne Festival’s Singing Histories project; to re-enact The Battle of Pilleth (1402) and take part in a series of workshops in and around the church and surrounding hillside. Following this, I toured the participating schools early in 2012, traveling for two days around the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys and taking with me David Lewis’ evocative poems which had evolved from the workshops he undertook at the end of 2011. I received a very warm welcome from the schools, and the enthusiastic response and creative output from the children was both enjoyable and rewarding; memorable moments include the melodies created and sung by the children and many of their ideas have been incorporated throughout the songs.

Old Stones Remember musically follows the arc and structure of David’s poems, reiterating the first song at the end but with different words. All but one of the middle songs reflects dimensions of the battle from the view of various characters; the other, more reflective song lends its name to the title. For the first performance in July 2012, the songs are divided between the schools, with each class performing their respective song from the music workshop, as well as being joined by a class from another school; this too contributes to the overarching structure of the work, starting with all the classes, followed by smaller numbers of singers, building up to a large choir in the middle, decreasing again and finally ending with everyone together.