UKUTHULA for soprano, mezzo-soprano & orchestra
Although the text has been written by me, it is very much based on Biblical prophesies and Messianic ideas for PEACE from extracts from Isaiah. It was composed during the turmoil years of transition from autocracy to democracy – no one in South Africa knew whether it would be a peaceful transition or a bloodbath of horrendous political proportions. It is really a prayer for peace using the Zulu word, Ukuthula.
UKUTHULA is a plea for a peaceful transition and a quest for reconciliation – a self fulfilling prophesy, as it were, for the “wolf to lie down with the lamb”.
The material consists initially of 2 falling semitones with the second one a minor 3rd higher than the first. After the “A” minor opening chord, the major chord on the supertonic is emphasized, which is B major. Some whole-tone material is used later in the plea to “give peace a chance”, which creates the rising interval of a tritone.
The vocal and instrumental intervals open out to the spacious and comfortable perfect 5th on the words “a better place”. The tonal centre shifts continually in a post-tonal sound world. There are rising sequences and the intensity increases with the use of smaller note values (16ths) until the music comes to rest on a definite D major jubilant declamatory section with the words, “When all the madness is over, peace will come”. Although the metre changes frequently, the work is highly tonal and very accessible.