New Music since 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 musician who is not meek of heart.
Check out the final minute of the piece in this YouTube snippet:
Peace Flows Into Me (2022)
SATB and piano
Commissioned by the Laramie School District of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the piece is composed for Sean Ambrose, a retiring and beloved music superintendent. Choral composer, Paul A. Aitken creates a lyrical melody with lush harmonies from the simple Sara Teasdale text. The piece is designed to be accessible for younger singers and yet fully enjoyable and relevant for seasoned singers as well.