Thursday, 31 October 2013


Hey everyone, Grant here with another blog!

Today I'd like to talk about the music of FYFT, specifically the soundtrack to FYFT's first documentary - which I am honoured to have been asked to compose.  

Back in August 2012 - which now seems like a hundred years ago - Ben invited me to view a draft of the documentary to discuss what could be done with music. The music that Ben had chosen as a temporary measure used was a modern version of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata; to convey the twinning of old and new. Needless to say, it just didn't quite fit in with the message of the documentary.  So, after many meetings with Ben to gain historical context and viewings of the documentary to grasp the emotional feel, I started to write.  For me, the music had to not only be appropriate to what the survivors of the Holocaust were recounting, but also had to support the emotion in their words. 

Similar to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, I decided to write the piece for solo Piano and when the piece was completed I named it "A Journey Made".  Its often difficult to explain meanings behind the names of pieces, as they can be so personal to the composer, however, my inspiration for "a journey" was simple. Everyone involved in the Holocaust made a physical or emotional journey; people were taken away from their homes, many were forced or chose to leave their countries before the war or soldiers left to fight - all made a journey outwardly and inwardly.  Additionally, in terms of the documentary and FYFT, a journey had been made too throughout the creation of our Holocaust unit. Travelling to Eastern Europe, the members of FYFT found themselves in the same places and physical places that many were forced to inhabit or pass through during the Holocaust. They made this journey in an attempt to understand and recount a number of the stories they now share through their lessons, to allow students to venture on their own journey within the classroom. 

Music has always had a huge impact on me, more so than any other art form. Music is able to creep into your deepest thoughts, feelings and memories and spark a reaction with or from them. Music is a perfect storytelling tool without which many of us would find difficulty in expressing certain emotions or feelings. This is why I believed it essential to write the piece with a context of emotion in mind - the piece isn't necessarily sad or mournful; it can be interpreted in many ways, but for myself it had to be sensitive with elements of both reflection and - of course - hope.

FYFT endeavours to utilise art to represent its messages, the most emotional expression we as human beings have, and hope is definitely a huge part of our organisation.  When you listen to "A Journey  Made", I wish that it inspires the same reflection and hope within you and that it allows you to understand FYFT's emotive messages in a different way.