The Cavan Trio is proud to be part of The First World War Centenary Partnership by IWM


Consonance - Containing Resonance

This music is a magnifying glass held closely over the human soul. Inspired by the war letters of Harvey G. Frost, it is both happy and sad, shadows and sunlight. It keeps the sustain pedal down on human emotion and experience, allowing the melting of the two to be contained in one chrysalis-like sound world, both fragile and resilient at the same time. 


Sustenance – Sustaining Resonance

“Though a thousand fall at your side, 
though ten thousand are dying around you, 
these evils will not touch you.” Psalm 91:7 NLT

Nursie’s prayers skip steadily across coal-dark ether, 
Pebbles flung out with heart’s strongest arms
To bounce across England, silently ripple the Channel, 
Aimed to sink deep through liquid surfaces.

Long warm sunbeams, angelic feathers, 
Pulse to sustain the sensitive Harvey
Closing his eyes to see sunlight from a mind
Besieged in a bedraggled body.

Many other shadows were captured that night
Not enough Wendy’s to sew them back on again.
Lost boys, never-forgotten-boys, 
Sons remembered as men.

Gasps escape and courage rises.
Guardian Angel commands resilience
“Inhale, exhale, expand the ribcage. 
You can do anything with this one next breath.” 

Smoky veil drawn, the sun bombs in
On morning rays of daybreak, 
Landing deep into gutters in just the same way
It illuminates victory gardens back home.

If humans were to photosynthesize,
Then they too could grow in cracks
With little provision to maintain them.

But in these trenches emptied of vital resource, 
Heavenly timbres sustain those living
With infrared light and breath and prayer.

© Helena Cavan, for Harvey’s War Letters, 2014