City Sigh

Year of composition
2000
Lyricist
Lemn Sissay
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
7 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music
Instrumentation
Large mixed ensemble
Instrumental parts
Not available

This is not a refined work! In keeping with Lemn Sissay’s poem, and his own style of performance, it should be performed with lots of aggression and energy.

The material falls into three blocks. The first block is a verse section, where the vocal line is spat out in a ’rap’ style, following the natural contours of the words, albeit in a highly exaggerated manner. The second section, is a chorus, which has a more relaxed, sung delivery, although the harmonies provided by the strings suggest that the stresses of city life are never that far away. Whereas these two sections were suggested by the structure of the poem, the third idea is one I added myself - it interjects at points where the music could possibly settle into a routine, so stopping things becoming too predictable.

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