Soulström - Jodie Blackshaw (Grade 6)
MANHATTAN BEACH MUSIC
Raising the Standards of the American Concert Band and BANDS all Over the WORLD
Exclusive Australian Distribution by Future Music
"Soulström was originally a work of music theatre based around a tale of a solitary individual lost in the centre of a storm. The work originally featured a narrator who told the dramatic story of a freak, alien storm that used the energy of people to fuel its fury. In the centre of the storm, a lone person was searching for their lost love, and locked inside its fury was the key to freedom: the beauty and grace of love itself.
About halfway through the composition it became apparent that this original story was indeed an allegory pertaining to my very own struggle with depression and grief over the loss of my beloved Father in 1997. In the story, the lost love was revealed as my lost life and the storm, the epitome of the depth of my depression suffered since his passing. In realisation of this, the work transformed and the narrator's role is now completely non-existent.
Beginning with resignation and a still misty morning, the lost soul recalls painful memories which slowly enter consciousness. Gradually the memories build and layer upon one another to the point of becoming unbearable before a brief glimpse of hope —a glowing happy memory recalled. But hope is soon lost and the individual sinks back into depression. Fighting overwhelming anger, resentment and rage the individual finally defiantly breaks the hold of the grief to emerge strong, jubilant and free.
The compositional process became a passionate, cathartic experience. What began as a piece based around a storm, a desperate person and the search for lost love, became so much more. I hope it will touch hearts and help others find freedom."
Performance by Dennis W. Fisher conducting the University of North Texas Symphonic Band, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas