This piece was the second of two substantial commissions from The St. Marylebone’s Church of England School in London. They both afforded the chance to re-frame a traditional Carol in a way that allowed the children - especially at Christmas - to explore the pressing issues within their own communities.
The melody of ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ is a beautiful one - a piece of old plainchant - but to me the words are those of a freedom song. The text speaks of slavery and exile and the prophecy of freedom to come.
My aim was to transform this humble carol into a joyous and optimistic celebration of freedom and hope for a better world.
Performed by The London Vocal Project and Friends. Soloist - Ayesha Pike.
"Day by day,
Freedom’s on the way.
Come what may
We’ll set the bells a-ringing.
Let them hear the song that we are singing."