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‘Dawn’ is a musical setting of words by Australian World War One soldier, Ellis Silas. The first part of the piece reflects on the horrors of trench warfare, conveyed through angular, recitative like melodies and dissonant harmonic accompaniment. In the second half of the song, a much more tonal melodic style is used, accompanied by consonant harmonies, in order to convey Ellis Silas’ dreams and hopes of peace to come.
'A more challenging song but worth every minute of endeavour. This profoundly moving text has been set exquisitely for SATB and trumpet, never missing a moment to highlight the sombre yet ultimately hopeful mood. Biting harmonies with mournful unisons flowering into warm cadences that never fail to have an extraordinary impact.'
– Gina Sanders, International Soprano and Director of King’s College Chapel Choir, Auckland.
Revised version was created for Gina Sanders and King's College Chapel Choir, Auckland.
Ellis Silas. Text taken from his WWI diary entries