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Jello, the colours of my soul

By Ben Haemhouts

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Jello, the colours of my soul composed by Ben Haemhouts. For Marching Band. Concert works. Grade 5. Score and set of parts. Duration 0:13:30. Published by Beriato Music (BT.0101-2-120).

Jello...The Colours of my Soul is an assignment that was written to be a lasting memory of the untimely, dramatic death of a young child. The work came about due to various conversations between the father and the composer whereby the final result must be seen as an attempt by the composer to musically translate the feelings of the parents. The first part of the title, Jello, is a combination of the names of the two children of the commissioner, namely Jelle and Lobcke, and the Colours of my Soul are the colours of the soul of the parents who despite the loss of one of their children, continue to cherish their two children. The introduction provides the atmosphere of grieving for the loss, whereby use is made of pure fifths in order to portray the solidarity with nature, as we are familiar with in symphonies by Bruckner. A little later a bit of the first theme is suggested, which develops into a real funeral march. The Dies Irae, as this occurs in Berliozs Fantastic Symphony (F, E, F, D, E, C, D), forms a leitmotiv through the entire work in order to symbolise the constant battle between life and death. Shortly before the storm-passage, (where a wind machine is used) which announces disaster, fragments from childrens songs are played to the accompaniment of a rising choir piece from behind the stage, which strengthens the imminent confrontation with death. After the introduction of the two themes in the long introduction, a quick passage follows in which all kinds of beautiful memories are recalled. There is story telling, laughing, and dancing. One of the previous childrens songs is also cited. The Dies Irea is heard once again, this time short and fast. Bit by bit happy elements are steadily distorted until seriousness breaks through again, like an unavoidable and unstoppable evil. The entire piece becomes evermore stirring, as if a big climax will follow. At this moment a very long fermata makes a sudden end to the hysterical allegro. The crucial moment in the work follows... How does one deal with something as tragic as the death of ones own child? Does one mourn for what no longer is and what never will be? Or does one try to cherish the beautiful moments and continue to live with these colourful memories? A subdued, dignified choir piece captures the beautiful memories and ends in a positive, hopeful tone.

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