On March 17 1923 Peter Graham’s grandfather, John Graham, set sail from Glasgow Scotland on the TSS Cameronia, ultimately bound for the coal fields of West Virginia. As Europe struggled to recover from the aftermath of the war to end all wars a generation of young immigrants looked to the USA for the opportunity of improved prospects and a better life. Voyage to Worlds Unknown seeks to capture the mixture of emotions of this epic sea voyage and as such is unashamedly programmatic in character. The work follows a clearly defined timeline in five continuous sections:
1) TSS Cameronia – the grandeur and majesty of the vessel
2) Full ahead – a Scottish jig and reel of increasing tempo
3) Ae Fond Kiss – the haunting Burns song – separation from a loved one
4) The Crossing – in the teeth of an Atlantic gale – memories
5) The New Colossus – journey’s end as New York harbour and the Statue of Liberty emerge from the mists:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
From The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (1883)
(Hard) Arrangements with a difficulty 5 begin to introduce polyrhythm’s and asymmetrical meters. Changing meters are much more frequent and instrumentation may be more diverse, and include piano, harp, or unusual instruments.