Frank Corcoran

irish composer


October 12 2014                      Piccolo Teatro Cavour Bolsena     18.00


Martin Johnson ( violoncello ) and Fergal Caulfield ( pianoforte )    play Beethoven and Ravel and :

Frank Corcoran :  “Im Aonar Seal “   (  2014  )  and

Frank Corcoran :   Cello Concerto     (  2013  )  reduction in preparation for   13.3.2015       Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra  Dublin Premiere with the National Symphony Orchestra , Cond. Kenneth Montgomery , Solo Martin Johnston



Variations On An Issa Haiku  :

1.   The pig in its sleep   /   Giggles and shakes and snortles   /   Poor,   doomed animal

2.   Worst winter in years   /   Cold shakuhachi music   /    Snug the pig inside


3.  Wind, howl at the sty   /   In which the piglets snuggle    /    And giggle in sleep


4.  Issa slips on ice    /    His cold pig chortles, hungry    /    Either she or me


5.    The wintry cold wind’d     /    Slice the poet as his knife   /    Slits a giggling pig.


6.     Sleep inside, snug sow    /     Time enough for your piglets    /    To face their killing


“William of Ockham, oh where have you been ?”

“I’ ve been out dancing on the head of a pin!”

What do you conclude, now your task is complete? ”

“It’s fine for the angels, but hard on my feet !”

Not bad as a comment on this composer’s life and time-signatures , getting the work hewed and sculpted, cut and measured and ready for the first performance, in one sense ( but only one ) its “REAL” birth. In the beginning was the sound. Then came tone and word and egg and chicken and all such.


Just a little further. Come on ! Finishing ( and beginning ! ) the Oboe Quartet was bloody murder!  Also the summery 3 Pieces for Violin and Piano. Also my choral works ( Hayo-Verlag ). And the Eight Haikus, to be published by Schott.( – “He should be shot….  “  Sorry! )  The Different Voices Publication is a little help ( better late than ….  ). Keep going, good little donkey ! Compose, conceive, decompose. What ever is next ? ( I had mentioned the Piccolo Teatro Cavour Concert in Bolsena on October 12 ?  ( My Cello Concerto in the reduction for Piano and Cello )  Also North South NYC on February 13 2015 (

Quasi Una Storia for String Orchestra ? ) . Also Concerto for Cello and Orchestra world premiere in Dublin on March 13 2015.
Move on!


Robert Darroll, the animated film artist, died this May in Berlin. In the nineties I got to know him; I loved his “Korean Trilogy”,  (  Gestating “Moe´s Field” , then, portended a wholly new departure , a new filmic revolution )  their tens of thousands of little hand-painted pictures  individually filmed, composed, sequenced, kineticized, It was Darroll´s special play of images: a dot became a line, a fish, a bird, a bud, a flower, a pool, a stream, a river, an ocean . Movement as poetic, directed by the artist´s narrative and Gestalt-psychological logic. Each of his films was a poem, in the best sense a Horatian hymn to mutation.

Robert Darroll´s departure in 2001 from Hamburg to Tokyo did hurt; and his May death this year brought no closure, no peace, only the Unanswered Question. Yet I, too, plod on. To search is to find, certainly,  form, musical forms, as you solder and bend motivs, ideas, colours, lines and masses in rhythms. Pure play as pure delight. No bad thing, Robert Darroll. Back to self-delight, poet Horace. Kinetic excellence, Herr Hanslick.

It is a fish. Is it ?


A word before I slide even more sidewards into  oblivion : Is my new work some kind of Conversation With Myself ? Why ever not ? My ( gestating, low cooking )  ALL MY ALTO RHAPSODIES` converses ( with me, certainly ,  ) “all about “  the Contralto´s layers, her registers, her orchestral accompaniment, her eating / swallowing / in- and digesting and uttering my texts; they are lovingly masticated, savoured ,  soothed, sung by her whole body. Forty years ago I was worrying : ” Prima la parola e poi la musica.” -  That´s now gone. Now  it´s all complete cheeks´and glottals , glossolalia and throat´s / lung`s  / diaphragm´s  pumping, forming, moulding my very lovely text-tone-text-phrase lovingly shaped by me long before ; my shards and shoots and shapes (  and, of course, my shadows. ) Oh.  Yes. Before oblivion,okay. Okay, no hysterics in this e-column…  I´ll be damned if I play over coy : ” Is this then death”  vocal clownery, rather cast-iron forms.


Hot June horse-manure

Binds human flesh with humus

Too tired to die ?


Hot June moon, moan.

Sappho´s thighs dancing like that ?

Steps hot, music light.


Skellig Rock´s weak monks

Saw God in their rheumatism

Please, my God, no more.


Noble Saint Kevin,

His arms outstretched and praying,

Felt no thing, no God



Strange indeed.

This icy wind ( ” Tramontana ” ) blows straight across our lake from the  snowy Apenines; it´s whining storm-force. It chills the bone, though the  April sun is warm ( where there´s shelter ) . Here on the West Bank, medieval Gradoli, enormous waves are whipped cold. Never saw the likes of it. As soon as the Tramontana stops blowing and freezing us, we´ll be baked, of course.

Tweaking my texts for my new work, ” MY ALTO RHAPSODIES”. Must contain sharp, arresting pictures plus soaring syllables and high rapture,

quillspilling, windhoverish. Over the top. Like this Tramontana. It will.