Love is transformative – it changes us. When Director Jenn Forsland was choosing pieces for her final set of concerts with Island Voices, she felt particularly called to music that not only expressed the idea of love, but also its transformative power.
“Love changes us,” Forsland explained. “And what better way to convey that idea than through music. As British composer John Rutter recently said, ‘You express your soul when you sing.’”
Perhaps no other piece says this more clearly than the concert’s title track, Through Love to Light, Elaine Hagenberg’s beautiful piece that slowly ascends from darkness to day.
There are also several Canadian pieces that touch on our increased reverence for the earth, sea and sky. Vancouver composer Katerina Gimon just last year created To the Peak of the Mountain that celebrates our forested mountain coastline. The choir will also present a modern piece from the other coast, Earth Voices by Halifax composer Peter-Anthony Togni.
In a lighter vein, there’s the Tudor madrigal Fine Knacks for Ladies, in which a pedlar tries to sell his wares to attractive young ladies. A young man sings to his future mother-in-law in the Swazi song Siyalobola Gogo. And the men of the choir will be singing a traditional Newfoundland song of love of a different sort, as they try to woo Sarah out for the evening from under the watchful eye of her suspicious mother.
The choir will also be stamping and clapping to the high energy Spanish piece Ritmo (“Rhythm”), featuring a four-handed piano accompaniment. Choir member Joyce Baker, who will be joining regular accompanist Julie Matthews at the keyboard, calls the piece “fast and exciting! I love the ‘off-rhythm’ accents.”
The poetry of Kahlil Gibran, the music of Bach re-imagined, a song dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King, a modern take on the old Latin Ubi Caritas, even a piece by ABBA – Island Voices will find so many ways to express our love of love through music.
Join Island Voices at Shelter Point Distillery (2650 Regent Rd., just north of Oyster River) as they bid Director Jenn Forsland a loving adieu. Due to the limited seating, the choir will be presenting three concerts: Friday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday April 18 at 2 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students, and can be purchased in Courtenay at Benjamin Moore House of Color, in Comox at Blue Heron Books, and in Campbell River at The Music Plant. For more info, call 250-203-0471 (Campbell River) or 250-898-4773 (Comox/Courtenay).