Inspired by the sense of peace and solitude found on the banks of a river, the story of the origin and success of Flow Water is a heart warming one.
Flow Water was composed by Damien Kehoe while he was studying for his degree in music at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.
The composer writes:
The inspiration for this piece came to me by the banks of a beautiful section of the River Suir in Waterford, my hometown. It was a lonely time in my life, and I used to sometimes go there by myself to try gather my thoughts. The peaceful environment gave me a sense of solitude and helped me see the bigger picture which gave rise to my piece Flow Water.
Kehoe chose not to select a text but write the words himself, providing a deeper connection to the place and his own feelings:
Peace like a river, that flows beneath the sky.
Water so fresh and still, where I alone must lay.
Strength of the current, washing from the earth,
oh, hear that moving water surge from my heart!
It is where I go to search amidst the lake,
where pain and anguish burn like the flame in my heart,
like the flame in my soul – wait for water.
Peace like a river, so fresh and so still
beneath the sky where I alone must lie.
Soon after Kehoe had finished composing Flow Water it was recorded by his college chamber choir. From these humble beginnings the reaction to the piece internationally was unexpected and overwhelming. This original recording (which includes the composer in the Tenor section) is now approaching 400,000 views on YouTube!
The piece has gone on to be a favourite of collegiate, high-school, chamber and community choirs worldwide, with regular performances and recordings across Asia, Europe and North America. Below is a recent recording by the German vocal ensemble VoiceMade.
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