Israel’s coastal cliffs inspired music for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, composer says

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Israel’s coastal cliffs inspired music for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, composer says

Dual British-Israeli citizen Loretta Kay-Feld walked along the coast as 'music and the words came to me very quickly' to mark Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne

Jack Mendel is the former Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Loretta Kay-Feld (Credit: Michael Sela)
Loretta Kay-Feld (Credit: Michael Sela)

The cliffs along the coastline near the Israeli town of Raanana were the inspiration for music to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Stoke Newington-born Loretta Kay-Feld revealed this week that “the music and words came to me quickly” as she strolled along the beach near her home town.

The 73-year-old musician, who has written work for the inaugurations of American Presidents Obama, Trump and Biden, was approached by the Royal Family to compose work in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

When offered the role by a member of the Palace’s team, she said “there’s no other words to describe it. I felt so thrilled and exhilarated.”

“Having written for presidents before, this was something even extra special. I’ve always had great affection for the royal family having grown up in London, and I still have great affection for them, and especially her Majesty”.

Kay-Feld, who attended the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Drama, created three pieces of music, the first of which is called Queen Soliloquy. She said: “I have tried to describe the feelings of Queen Elizabeth that she must have now, having served for 70 years”.

“It’s a very reflective song. I’m sure at 95 years old, she is going through a period of reflection right now. So I’ve tried to convey in song, what she must be thinking.”

The second piece is a “medley of four songs that I wrote for her just with the music, and with videos put together by a filmmaker called Jason Figgis.”

And the third piece, which she described as “humorous”, will be published in June, called ’70 years a Queen’.

Asked how she came up with the ideas for the compositions, she said: “I actually wrote it on the cliff tops here in Israel.

Kay-Feld, who made aliyah about a decade ago, said: “I never sit at the piano. I had read a lot about the Queen, a musical book about her. I took a walk along the cliff tops and the music and the words came to me very quickly. That’s how I usually write music.

Her Majesty

“When I got home, it was it was all in my head. And I just wrote to up, and then arranged it for the orchestra.”

She said the reaction to her work has been universally positive. “Around the world I’ve been absolutely inundated” with good responses, she added. “I think people have been thrilled. Many people have contacted me and they’ve been moved to tears, especially by the Soliloquy. They have loved it, loved the music, love the words, love the imagery.”

The musician, who performed for the Queen when she was 19 at the Royal Variety show, said she hopes to meet Her Majesty, who is now 95.

“I would love to hear more about her life from a personal point of view. Not what’s already written in the media, but a real personal time.”

While proudly reflecting on the “special” experience of writing for presidents, she said composing music for Her Majesty “has to be the most privileged one of all.”

Loretta Kay-Feld (Credit: Michael Sela)

“I’ve always enjoyed everything that I’ve done. It’s been done from my heart. And I’ve just enjoyed this tremendously. The outpouring of love and affection that I have received because of this has been absolutely phenomenal.”

The musician however composing for the Queen is not the “pinnacle” of her career. “I’m now working on my next project which is a musical about Victorian England, which is called 1897, with an all Israeli a singer, musician and filmmakers, the cast… everybody’s going to be from Israel”.

She feels like she’s representing Israel on the world stage, saying: “I am British and Israeli. I love both countries. I want to present the world what Israel can do for the world, especially in terms of music”. She stressed, that she’d had no negative comments because of her dual citizenship. “My music is not political at all. It’s about the love of music, which I think should be quite separate from any antisemitic or anti Zionist feeling.”

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