Far Away... is dedicated to the memory of Lynn Johnston (1949-2016) and was premiered at the Market House, Castle Cary (Somerset) on Friday 22 July 2016 by Sarah Poole (soprano) and David Heyes (piano).
Canadian born Lynn Johnston had lived in Castle Cary for a number of years and owned The Bailey Hill Bookshop sharing her wonderful knowledge and love to books to everyone she met. She had also been a singing student of Sarah Poole, who sang at Lynn's funeral, and Far Away... was composed for Sarah for a memorial service which brought together many of Lynn's friends to remember and celebrate her life.
The musical material is built on a simple four bar chordal phrase with an underlying bass note of B in every bar. Set to words by the First World War poet Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918) who was born in Bristol but lived most of his life in East London, the melodic interest is always given to the singer underpinned by by a strongly supportive chordal accompaniment which features interesting chords, often with the addition to a 7th to create a musical palette which is neither major nor minor.
By what pale light or moon-pale shore
Drifts my soul in lonely flight ?
Regions God had floated o'er
Ere He touched the world with light ?
Not in Heaven and not in earth
Is this water, is this moon ;
For there is no starry birth,
And no dawning and no noon.
Far away- O far away,
Mist-born-dewy vapours rise
From the dim gates of the day
Far below in earthly skies.
David Heyes studied double bass with Laurence Gray and Bronwen Naish and later at the Royal College of Music in London. He completed his post-graduate studies in Prague with Frantisek Posta (Principal Double Bass, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra). He has given recitals and masterclasses in 13 countries over the past few years and has been a juror at a number of international competitions, twice as chairman.
David has been Specialist Double Bass Tutor at Wells Cathedral School for 19 years and received a prestigious award from the David Walter Charitable Trust of New York for his pioneering activities as a soloist, teacher, publisher and commissioner of new music for double bass. He works with composers throughout the world and is particularly interested to expand the double bass repertoire, by commissioning new works and by rediscovering forgotten ones. Over the past 30 years he has commissioned more than 500 works, from beginner to virtuoso, and from one to twenty basses.
David has transcribed more than 200 works for double bass, many published by Recital Music, and in recent year has also composed a number of original works for double bass which have been performed in Britain, America, Venezuela, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, Germany and Czech Republic. David is self-taught as a composer and his music has been described as lyrical, evocative and accessible, but certainly of the 21st-century.