3 African Songs
for Tenor (or Soprano) and Piano (1974)
by Ron Hannah

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  1. Come Away, My Love
  2. Love Apart
  3. Be Not Amazed

Words: Joseph Kariuki (Kenya), Christopher Okigbo (Nigeria), Leopold Senghor (Senegal)
Duration: about 8 minutes

    This song cycle is an afterthought following completion of my Master's thesis composition, The Shrine of Kotje. I had been working on that choral/orchestral piece with Malcolm Forsyth for

    

    
several months, and during my research into African verse I had found more poems than I could use in the larger work. So this set represents the leftovers - poems that I loved but could not fit in.

    Its style is typical of me: a kind of free-ranging dissonant tonality. The poems and the music cover the emotional field from the tenderness of the first, to the aching loneliness of #2, to the savage anger of the last. It requires a strong voice and equally strong pianist, and these were found in Nigel Lemon, tenor, and Julie Quinn, piano, who premiered the songs on my Master's recital at the University of Alberta in 1975. You may hear them doing the first of the set by clicking on "Text & Listen" button above (not a good recording, but I like the performance).

A few sample pages of each song may be had also by clicking above, and the full score is available through the Canadian Music Centre, or from myself by sending me an email (below). My only restriction is that you inform me of any performances so that I can keep this website up-to-date.


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