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 Doug Jamieson’s new choral composition 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.

In 2022 and 2023, Kootenay Musical Theatre Society located forty singers from around the world, whose mother tongue is one of forty languages, to make a recording of Forty Words for Yes. The finished recording was presented June 9-11 in Nelson BC, using a unique 16-track surround sound setup. There were 8 synchronized stereo systems on stands in an area of St. Saviours Church. The stands displayed impressive banners by Kootenay artist Alf Crossley. People were intrigued by hearing the voices come from different parts of the room.

After this ‘live’ presentation of the recording, Jamieson created a stereo mix and a video, which included material from the June 9th opening. The video was launched on YouTube, August 27, 2023:

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, motivated 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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.