Saturday, April 26, 2014
David Ditchfield’s latest composition will mark two milestones when it’s played in St Ives next month.
The musician’s piece commemorates the start of the World War I and will form one of the highlights of a special 10th anniversary concert for the Chamber Orchestra of St Ives.
The entire concert, which takes place on Saturday, May 24, will also mark the beginning of the Great War, featuring music by Delius, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Butterworth.
Mr Ditchfield’s piece – The Falcon: Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra – tells the story of a British soldier who proudly signs up to fight, only to discover the harsh realities.
The 54-year-old musician, who lives in St Ives, explained: “After being shot, he sees a falcon hovering in the sky, eclipsing the sun. He is transfixed by its beauty. “It is a euphoric and spiritual moment, transporting him from the pain and horror of war to the wonder of nature.”
Mr Ditchfield said he drew on his own traumatic experiences for inspiration. In 2006, he caught his coat in a train door at Huntingdon Railway Station. Unable to free himself, Mr Ditchfield was pulled under the train, suffering near fatal injuries and almost losing his left arm.
Like the soldier in his composition, Mr Ditchfield described the accident as “horrific and harrowing”.
“Knowing that I had survived was brilliant,” he said. “I looked up and there was a beautiful blue sky. I was feeling quite euphoric and happy to be alive. I was appreciating the beauty of nature. I was in absolute agony but happy to be alive.”
Like himself, the soldier in his music survives.
Mr Ditchfield said he composes his music on a synthesizer as his accident has left him unable to play the guitar. Previously a guitar teacher and song writer for artists such as Dexys Midnight Runners, Mr Ditchfield has also performed as a support act for bands such as the Fine Young Cannibals and The Waterboys.
He also had the “surreal” honour of supporting the Beach Boys. “It was amazing,” he said. “I was less nervous opening for them at Wembley than in smaller venues as it’s so big you can’t see people and the sound quality is much better.”
INFORMATION: The concert is at the Free Church, St Ives, at 7.30pm on Saturday, May 24. Tickets £10, £5 concessions and are available from Just Sharing at the Free Church. For more details, contact Gilly Jackson on 01480 385999.