St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast will host one of the more intimate and reflective commemorative events marking the centenary of the Titanic’s sinking as part of the Titanic Creative Arts festival. On Saturday 14th April Belfast native and celebrated composer, Philip Hammond will unveil his ambitious work which has been developed over a 3 year period. Speaking recently about the requiem Philip asserted that it is not simply a Titanic requiem, but a requiem for the lost souls of the tragedy. The requiem in particular will reflect and pay homage to the musicians on board the liner who stayed with the ship to the very end, losing their own lives in the process.
The composition is a truly international piece with Philip finding inspiration from places far and wide including Portland, Oregon and Croatia – from bells to the sounds of animals. In addition Philips own links to the Harland and Wolff Shipyard as an East Belfast man also provided inspiration for the requiem and in fact Philip recalls that his own father was 10 years old when the Titanic set sail from Belfast in 1912.
5 choirs will be involved on the night, including Belfast Philharmonic, St Peter’s Boys Choir and the world-renowned Anuna. The layout of the seating within the Cathedral will be re-oriented to give the impression of being on-board a ship with choirs located at either end. Philip admits that co-ordination will be hugely difficult but with the help of CCTV each of the conductors will be in sync throughout the event.
Limited tickets for the Requiem are currently available from the Belfast Welcome Centre. If you are unable to attend on the Saturday night, the Requiem will be recreated for Sunday morning Mass in St Peter’s Cathedral.
Here's an interview with the composer: