South Australia’s founding charter, Letters patent establishing the Province of South Australia, set to music for SATB choir
SATB a capella choir or vocal quartet
Music has power. Words have power. In Promise, Becky has set the actual words of the British Parliament which on the 19th of February 1836, passed an Act establishing South Australia, called the Letters Patent. The text represents a contract which claims the territory comprising South Australia and promises that nothing in the Letters Patent shall affect the rights of any Aboriginal Natives or their descendants.
Becky juxtaposes the music for the British imperial colonisers which continues to ascend and the fate of the promises for indigenous people which musically descends. They cross together at the end, a co-mingled broken promise set up on the 19th of February 1836. Promise asks the listener to think about this very pompous legal promise and what happened in reality after the righteous glow of the intent.
Written in 2019, this 4-minute work is suitable for SATB choirs of medium to advanced ability.