The Last Post is a piece of staged music with text, for trumpeter and live electronics.
The title invokes the eponymous bugle call, the aural reference point for armistice and remembrance, but more significantly in this performance piece, one man’s love letters from the front line.
The project started life in 2014 as a collaborative new work by trumpeter Tom Poulson, composer Alistair MacDonald and director Susan Worsfold, and received its premiere performance at St Magnus International Festival in 2016. The 18-month creative period was an integrated artistic process, with performer, composer and director working collaboratively across all elements of the new work.
The piece explores themes of war and memory and the outcome is a very personal piece drawing inspiration from the 100+ letters Dennis Marshall – Tom’s grandfather – wrote to his fiancée in the latter part of the Second World War. Set in the round, Tom and Alistair sit with the audience in parts of the performance. The moment when the audience open their own letters (which have been handed to them on arrival) and are allowed to read, together in silence, crystallises this sharing of the history that the letters embody.