This work was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One.
It is another collaborative work with poet Harry Ross, who I have made many works together. Using the same methodology as usual, I composed and Harry wrote text simultaneously, most of the time in the same room, like a rock band making a song together in the studio (back when there was a studio budget, in the good old days!).
I know I had whispering voices at the beginning, a haunting harmony, the kind of voice you might hear from the grave yard (and I live in front of one of the biggest cemeteries in London), and Harry immediately thought it was a good idea if we used the actual name of the cemeteries which are in Northern France.
Harry Ross writes:
"I went to Flanders to research the work, and all of the names in the piece are taken from various graves. The German French and English texts are from official death notifications at the time. One of the sticking things about Flanders, apart from the incredible amount of graves is the fact that many lorries use the route to bypass the motorway if they are going to port from Dunkirk. One would like to imagine that the graves of so many young men are in very peaceful surroundings. The actuality is very far from this. Life goes on which is why it is so vital for us to mark these things and remember."
Dai Fujikura (edited by Harry Ross)