The Song of the Child is a setting of a story about the Himba tribe from Namibia who celebrate new birth by praying and meditating so as to ‘find’ a song appropriate to the child. This is done before the child is born and the song continues with the person up until their dying day.
The story has been attributed to the African poet Tolba Phanem. There is some dispute over the authenticity of this story, and may even be from a different tribe altogether! The actual source does not matter as the story is ideal for a musical setting.
The music was written in 2017 and is for countertenor (or contralto) solo, flute, African Marimbas (soprano and tenor) and two percussion players who play Djembes amongst other instruments. The work’s duration is nearly 6 minutes.