The piece is roughly based on the frustration of not being able to write anything. I’d already written half a piece for the ensemble but it was terrible so I got rid of it and was really frustrated with it all – then this popped into my head and I just went for it!
It was inspired by an American solider’s snapshot photo album from the Korean war, which I saw when I was working for military history book publishers Helion & Co:
What interested me about it was the juxtaposition of really fun party times with the girls dancing / singing, placed next to a photo of a war cemetery where, presumably, lots of the solider’s friends had headstones. It just shocked me that the soldier was able to reconcile these images in his photo album – death and suffering juxtaposed with fun and relaxation. It raises all sorts of questions about escapism, denial, coping mechanisms etc etc…
In this piece I have simply taken the idea of juxtaposition and have taken solemn moments and juxtaposed them with reinvented versions American hit songs from the 1950s.