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Composer Karen Wimhurst’s new Song for Dorset, When Time Lost Its Edge, will be premiered online on Wednesday 4 August from 12.30pm. 

The song was commissioned by Sound UK, Lighthouse and Artsreach, Dorset’s rural touring scheme, as part of A Song For Us in which 15 leading music creators across genres wrote new songs inspired by the people of their county. When Time Lost Its Edge will be available online for 12 months. 

Writing a song to reflect people’s time during the pandemic in Dorset, Karen (pictured) invited people to answer three simple questions. With lyrics drawn directly from their responses, the result is a song that captures people’s diverse experiences and hopes for the future.

A Song for Us recognises the positive role community choirs and ensembles play in keeping people connected and is performed by Palida Choir, VIVA! Dorchester Women’s Choir and Dorset County Hospital Staff Choir, as well as students from Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester. 

Alongside Karen Wimhurst (Dorset), A Song for Us commissions 15 other County Songs. These include: This Is The Kit & Bucky (Bristol), Gavin Bryars (East Riding), Skinny Pelembe (South Yorkshire), Seth Lakeman (Devon), Gwenno (Cornwall) and Tania Holland Williams (Kent).   

These commissioned songs form part of a growing music map of the country to mark this historic time. The public can share a favourite song that holds special meaning from this period on asongforus.org. Budding songsmiths anywhere are also invited to create and upload original songs that capture their experience of the pandemic.So far 600 people from Penzance to Inverness, and even Nigeria, have shared a vast range of songs including 85% original songs. From what it’s like to be a teenager at this time to the power of music to make us smile; a thank from a 90-year-old to his exercise instructor to dreaming of a future of hugging. 

A Song for Us celebrates our community during the COVID 19 pandemic. It seeks to encapsulate the coming together and solidarity. It recognises the nationwide losses we have experienced, whether at a distance or personally. Above all it celebrates the power of music to bring us together, whether as creators, performers or listeners. 

From 4 August, When Time Lost Its Edge can be heard at https://asongforus.org/commissions/karen-wimhurst-a-song-for-dorset 

Published 20 July 2021