As Chants Would Have It…

As Chants Would Have It is a short, single movement piece based around the chants that fans sing at football matches. I found them by hearing different people sing me chants from their homeland. Chants from Argentina, Cameroon, France, Holland, Ireland, Korea, Nigeria and UK are incorporated in the piece.

I was particularly interested in the real ‘grass-roots’ chants – the ones which everyone knows yet don’t know where they came from or where they first heard them. In the West they are one of last examples of truly indigenous music.

There are two main sections: an introduction, which builds towards a fanfare, and then the main body of the piece which uses the chants as the subjects of various fugues. Events happen very spontaneously throughout, as this suits the nature of the chants. The climax of the piece is slower and more overtly aggressive, using an Irish nationalist song, which highlights the great sense of pride, identity and sometimes release from the present which sport provides.

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