Removal and Other Powers

8 mins, 2 voices and piano

This song, for soprano, mezzo, and piano, was commissioned by Natalie Burch for a recording project with Delphian records. The disc is meant as a kind of “state of the nation” project, and pairs Britten's On This Island, and Finzi's Before and After Summer with new work by myself and Joanna Ward.

I eventually settled on a text taken from the 2014 immigration bill as introduced – setting the text regarding royal ascension that precedes all bills, and the statement from then Home Secretary Theresa May that states that the bill does not contravene the EU 1998 bill on human rights. I remember the political conversation around this bill's introduction at the time; later in 2019 the clauses would impact my life directly as me and my husband negotiated them to obtain a marriage visa for his continued stay in the UK.

As well as this personal connection I find the bill morbidly fascinating. It is a cornerstone of the UK government's “hostile environment” policies, and is seen by some as the final step in a long line of policy changes that resulted in the shocking Windrush scandal. The Home Secretary's statement that the bill does not contravene the 1998 EU Human Rights Act, although inserted as a matter of procedure, is particularly interesting as much of the conversation in parliament leading up to this bill’s introduction concerned the avoidance of that Act.

The bill and the parliamentary debate around it is freely available and can be found in Hansard.

This song was written for and recorded by Fleur Barron, Francesca Chiejina, and Natalie Burch. It will be released on Delphian Records in September 2023.

Sheet music

Removal and Other Powers Full score PDF download


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22 pages

Total £12.00

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