Notes on the piece:
Ocean Waves is a simple piece written for SATB a cappella choir or small vocal ensemble.
It draws influence from jazz with an importance placed on a rhythmically secure, steady, driving
beat and the use of some scat syllables . These sounds should imitate how the syllables
would be spoken, with softer consonants used than in typical choral pronunciation.
The work was originally titled Song For Mariam and had no words, just scat sounds. This
version of the work, renamed Ocean Waves has had lyrics set to it by Janice Slater.
The form is simple and symmetrical: Introduction, AA, BB, AA and Ending (a recap of the
introduction.) The composition is built upon a repeated four chord harmonic progression:
G/D, C, G/B, Bbma13#11, over which a simple tuneful melody is stated. The bridge provides some
harmonic variation with a twice repeated progression: Ab, Eb/G, Cma7sus2, C.