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Stones : flute and guitar duo

by Jim Coyle (2023)



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Stones / Jim Coyle.

Library shelf no. 785.4412/COY 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Memorial stones in a Cornish Chruchyard.

One is sacred to the memory of John Chubb, a little boy who died by choking on a pebble. The gravestone has inset a facsimile of that pebble and eight lines of verse in a naive, vernacular style lamenting little John's passing.
Half hidden by brambles against a wall is a double headstone whose inscription begins "Here lies two tars". It memorialises a middle-aged sailor and his much younger mate. The inferenceis that the older man took it upon himself to be the young lad's 'sea-daddy' and, quite literally, to show him the ropes. The fact that they are buried together indicates an accidental death as well as a close relationship. The inscription almost seems to beg the Almighty to give these two lovable rogues the benefit of the doubt.

At the bottom of John Chubb's headstone are two addenda.

These are in memory of two further sons in the Chubb family both of whom died in infancy. The second reads 'also a second William'. One wonders how much heartbreak the Chubb family could endure; and what comfort they derived from the beauty and permanence of this memorial to their lost sons.

Work Details

Year: 2023

Instrumentation: Flute, guitar.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Medium

Commission note: Commissioned by Bridget Bolliger.. Commissioned by the Sydney Chamber Music Festival, Bridget Bolliger, Artistic Director.

First performance: 10 Sep 23.

Performances of this work

10 Sep 23.

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