Derek R. Brookes

Mettre en Liberté

Composition Date: 2020
Duration: c. 5.50′
Instrumentation: Solo Piano

Program Notes

This piece was composed over the (Australian) summer months of 2019-20. Looking back on it now, I can’t help but feel that I was somehow expressing my reactions to the terrible bushfires that raged around Australia at the time. Dense acrid smoke surrounded us on all sides, for weeks on end. But this paled next to the tragic loss of human lives and homes, and the unfathomable destruction of so much innocent animal life and our immense, precious forests.

The piece came to a close just as the fires and the smoke were starting to ease. So much had been lost — and it was impossible to see how it could ever be restored, at least not in our lifetimes. Yet there was also the overwhelming response of shared grief and generosity from people around the world. And the courage and tenacity of our own firefighters, together with the way that communities reached out to help each other during the crisis.

So ‘mettre en liberté’, for me, did not mean ‘closure’.  It was more about finding a way to live with what has happened, and remembering that there is still enough goodness in the world to keep hope alive.