New Music for 2020
SATB, piano & opt. orchestra
In the course of six weeks in early 2020, Paul Aitken's family experienced the most challenging of journeys: his wife, MacKenzie, had a massive stroke during brain surgery (leaving her wheelchair-bound and having to relearn how to walk and talk and do many everyday things). Six weeks after her stroke, Aitken's stepson, Caden, took his own life after a multi-year battle with depression. During the writing of this commission for the Brazos Valley Chorale in Texas, this piece became MacKenzie and Caden's song. This new setting of "How Can I Keep From Singing" musically depicts the journey from normalcy; through grief, anguish and despair; to the realization that life can begin to knit back together and joy can again be found -- especially through singing with friends and strangers
Toccata in Difficult Times
Organ (2-4 Manual)
Inspired by the realities associated with the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, Aitken wrote a Toccata for his friend and Cathedral Organist, David Young. Based upon the hymntune EASTER HYMN, the piece is a rollicking combination of meters for the organist who is not meek of heart.