Welcome to the music works site, presenting compositions by Doug Jamieson. Some recordings are archival performances of early works going back as much as 40 years. Some are happening now!

Forty Words for Yes!

The word for yes in languages around the world has many sounds. If you want to say ‘yes’ in Sesotho, a South African language, you say ‘ay-a’. In other languages,  you may say: kul-laeh, eh-vet, poe, or han-ji. (Those are the sounds of yes in Finnish, Turkish, Albanian and Hindi.)

Words that translate into ‘yes’ are at the heart of my new choral composition called Forty Words for Yes . Although much of the text is in English, several sections are solely based upon words meaning yes from forty different languages from around the world.

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society is seeking singers whose mother tongue is one of the forty languages to make a recording of Forty Words for Yes. Thus far, the project has singers who speak: Albanian, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Maori, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Sesotho, Spanish, Sri Lankan, Tagalog, and Turkish. In addition, Sinixt, Ktunaxa, and Haida Elders are helping to find singers from these Nations.

The following video will give you an idea of the sound and thrust of the work:

Forty Words for Yes  was inspired by the Thomas Tallis renaissance masterpiece Spem in Alium. A well-worn vinyl LP of David Willcocks and the King’s College Cambridge choir, as well as the art installation Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff, inspired Doug Jamieson to take on this project.

Thomas Tallis created Spem in Alium for eight vocal quintets of soprano, mezzo, alto, tenor and bass. Forty Words for Yes uses the same arrangement. It would be possible for Spem in Alium and Forty Words for Yes to be presented at the same concert; however, Forty Words for Yes bears no relationship to the Tallis work in terms of style.

At Times Like This was created during the COVID-19 pandemic. The choristers and pianist recorded their parts remotely to a guide track. The tracks were sent by email and meticulously edited. Next Doug created a video on the theme of friendship and support during the pandemic.

This 4-1/2 min. video has posters and images from Jorinda (2015) and Fastlane to Paradise (2019), plus clips of eight demos songs from Donuts of Mass Destruction.

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