Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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kunstMusik started as a periodical. Due to the changes of our hectic times we decided to publish the magazine at irregular intervals in the future. Each magazine will have its own host who will use their own personal approach to lead you towards music as an art form. Moreover, in our efforts to open up to a more international readership we have decided to publish exclusively in English this time. The current issue?s host is Spanish composer Miguel Angel Tolosa. Working in the area of field recordings and drones, he runs the con-v label in Madrid and focuses on contemporary developments in electroacoustic music.

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CONTENT

MIGUEL ANGEL TOLOSA: INTRODUCTION

STEVE RODEN: 265 x 433 (EXCERPT)

Excerpts from a diary of daily performances of John Cage’s 4′ 33”: Notes, sketches, lists of sounds, concrete poetry, short prose texts.

ANTOINE BEUGER/SAMUEL VRIEZEN: ASKING QUESTIONS, TRYING ANSWERS

Documentation of an e-mail-coversation: the inside and the outside name of music, the pre-existence of pieces, intercorrelations in music, the politics in musical form, participation, extra-musical influences and atmosphere, is there ever an end to be written?

MANFRED WERDER: SCORES

Six score facsimiles and a photo. Objets trouvés in performance

WILL MONTGOMERY: FIVE WAYS OF LOOKING AT MANFRED WERDER

Five experiences from watching the endles in-space-performances by Manfred Werder. Sound and absence, space and awaiting. The feeling of abundance.

WADE MATTHEWS: THREE SUPPOSITIONS

Music as a dishrag: music as something that absorbs what it touches. Invading and shaping sound. Music as a die: the graceful and fragile gesture of flinging out a tone. Music as a mark: creating meaning and orientation.

MATTIN: NOISE VS CONCEPTUAL ART

A political text. The anarchy of noise. Noise as meta-chaos. Noise in the state of crisis. In extremes we meet!

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DOING YOUR SUMS AT SEVENTY PLUS

All the snow-blizzards. So then I divide my life into chapters, I suppose;   encounters of the third kind. Grace. Could be rotten or even mushy .  Indeed . Flame. Imagining the flaming sounds, a line or a motivic cell, an aura,  or kinetic impulse. Would you mind rubbing that out ! ( Not yourself, no!  )  A reed bending in the wind. Did you hear that ?

Music as snarl, as threatening or soothing or taking off. Angelology, part two. We’re all getting on, some famously. Nor ear heard. I suppose courage is a big part, too. The simple in the complex.  Many are one here.To sum up: it is my eye or hear which impose a leitmotiv – that it ? So proves just what ?

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

National Library, 2 Kildare Street, Dublin 2

 

The National Library

 

Composer: Frank Corcoran
Composition: Buile Suibhne
Year: 1996
Time: 18’04”
Literary Connection: Seamus Heaney

 

The mission of the Library is to collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge. Irish writers, historical and contemporary, have and continue to use the National Library on a regular basis. Buile Suibhne (Mad Sweeney) by Frank Corcoran is translated from middle Irish by Seamus Heaney one of our greatest living Irish writers.

 

Find Out More about this Composer and Listen to a Sample of this Composition

 

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RIDDLE ME THIS ONE BEFORE NEW YORK

Up there in Pavia’s fine royal dungeons Theoderic’s Visigoth (  rope  or wire ? )  was tightened around his splitting head-ache till the two eyes ( consoled by philosophy ) first bulged and then popped.So what meaneth  Boethius’s  sublime ” Nunc fluens facit tempus, nunc stans aeternitatum ”  at all at all              ? ( where’s the subject, noun, etc. ? )

I’ve loved and I’ve chased Boethius’s sublime Nunc Stans. He writes ( he doesn’t say how ….  )  that it “makes” the eternal.  ( In it time stands still ;but  he is not meaning  ” endlessly during ”   time, I take it ? )  And his Nunc Fluens ( like honey ? Like sun-flower oil ? like butter melting under an Italian sun  ? )  “makes”  time. And you can encounter both in Beethoven’s Opus 131, can you  ? In Mr. B’s time music’s eternal ?  Or is “nunc” an adverb after all ?  And is ” tempus” meant as a nominative ? Know what I mean,   my two eyes bulging ?  Do yours ?  Now ?

Hmmm.  Must ask around in New York, my Quasi Una Storia”  for 13 Strings  enduring and durating and circling sneakily around my own Nunc Stans. Plenty of time – sorry, eternity – for both ?  Quasi.

T.U.BERLIN Elektronisches Studio

Frank Corcoran geb. 1944 in Tipperary Irland. Studierte in Dublin (alte Sprachen, Philosophie), Rom (Theologie , Gregorianik und Renaissance-Musik) und Berlin (Meisterschüler von Boris Blacher). 1971-79 Music Inspector beim Irischen Erziehungsministerium. 1980 Stipendiat des Berliner Künstlerprogramms . 1981 Gastprofessor an der HdK Berlin. 1982 Professor in Stuttgart, seit 1983 an der Hamburger Musikhochschule. 1989-90 Fulbright-Professor in den USA und Gastdozent in CalArts, Harvard, Wisconsin, Boston, New York und Indiana. Seit 1983 ist Frank Corcoran Mitglied der Irischen AdK.Balthasars Traum 1980
Sweeney’s Vision 1997
Sweeney’s letztes Gedicht, Sweeney’s Farewell 1997/98
Tradurre – Tradire 2004
Heinz von Cramer geb. 1924 in Stettin. Autor (Romane und Bühnewerke) und Regisseur. Verfaßte mehrere von Boris Blacher vertonte Opernlibretti, u. a. Zwischenfälle bei einer Notlandung.
A, B, C, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, N-O-P, R, S, T, U-V, W
Carl Dahlhaus geb. 1928 in Hannover, gest. 1989 in Berlin. 1953 Promotion in Göttingen, 1966 Habilitation in Kiel. 1967-89 Ordinarius für Musikwissenschaft an der TU Berlin. Bedeutender deutscher Musikwissenschaftler.
Robert Darroll studierte Freie Kunst an der Michaelis School of Art 1965 – 1970. 1971/72 bekam er ein DAAD Stipendium für ein dreijähriges Studium an der HfbK Hamburg (Klasse Kurt Kranz). Ab 1973 freischaffender Filmemacher, erste abstrakte  Animation „Cenit“ 1974. In Zusammenarbeit mit Kurt Kranz mehrere Experimentalfilme (Spiegelung 1980, Zeit 1983). Nach einem Koreaaufenthalt 1983/84  drei abstrakte Animationsfilme  „Die Koreanische Trilogie“ (Lung, Feng Huang und Stone Lion – Musik im TU-Studio durch Sukhi Kang und Folkmar Hein realisiert). 1990 Umstellung der Produktion auf digitale Technik (Computeranimation), 1993 – 1996 3D-Animationen, gleichzeitig Arbeit am ZKM Karlsruhe. 1999/2000 Produktion von Noemata. 2001/2002 Unterricht an der Intermedia Abteilung der Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, seit 2003 an der Nagoya University of Art and Science, Japan. Zur Zeit arbeitet er an einer Installation für 5 synchronisierte Projektionen (vom ZKM gefördertes Projekt).

Filme Lung, Feng Huang, Stone Lion (Musik von Sukhi Kang)

QUASI UNA STORIA for 13 Strings ( New York Premiere Feb. 15 2015 )

QUASI  UNA  STORIA      for   13   Strings

In the nineties I composed a series of ” Quasi ” works for several different music- genres , eg.  QUASI UNA FUGA,  QUASI UN LAMENTO,  QUASI UN CONCERTO, and so on.
It was thus clear that the composer today is no longer innocent; she knows too much music of the Western past  written in the various forms. Thus ” Quasi Una Storia”  is quasi telling a story about this composer’s self-consciousness in dealing with music for all my 13 strings.
Music – in common with the other arts  (  if a little less so )  – has always  striven to imitate, to tell a story, to narrate. But this need not result in merely telling a story about a storm ( see Beethoven’s “Pastoral ” ) ,  or about the composer’s  love-lorn heart ( see Tchaikowsky’s ” Pathetique”  )  or  the hero’s derring – do ( see Strauss’  “Till Eulensgiegel ” )  etc.
The highest , most  “abstract”  music  tells a story about its own musical nature ( see so many Mozart symphonies ) , about its very own tones and their vicissitudes within the musical work itself. Beethoven’s  Fifth Symphony is a story ” about ” its first four well-known and – worn tones.
So my one movement ” QUASI UNA STORIA ”  tells, sings and recounts,  refers to its opening musical statement for the solo first violin; it soon appears also for solo cello and even for solo bass.
My  “Quasi” Story pits constantly the one and the many , the  soli and the tutti.  It revels in the string colours of  great compositions of the past which were composed fo rthe sonorous richness that a string orchestra posesses, from the sheen of a Henry Purcell or a Johann Sebastian Bach right up to great works of the 20 th. c. by a Bartok , a Ligeti or a Lutoslawsky . My  opening building block  expands its nervous tic idea untill all 13 strings are busy with their stringiness, their string thing.  In the middle of my story about these string tones, the colour grows darker, then brighter again. (  As in so many recent Corcoran compositions, I use once again my Corcoran’s   Seven Tones, my scale comprising of  G  A flat  C sharp  D  E flat  F sharp and A,  my beloved ABC  .  )
At the end an impassioned plea on the double-bass brings back my story’s opening  music. We have come the full cycle. My “Quasi” story is ended.

FRANK  CORCORAN

Frank Corcoran’s New CELLO CONCERTO

CELLO  CONCERTO

( March 13 2015 Dublin Premiere . National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, dir. Kenneth Montgomery. Soloist: Martin Johnson  )
As long as I can remember, I always wanted to compose a concerto for cello and orchestra, but I lacked the courage and the means till I had written my  violin concerto ( premiered by Alan Smale with the N.S.O. under Christopher Warren-Green in 2012 ). As soon as that work was born , I felt I was free . And my soloist, Martin Johnson, then said a mighty thing to me: ” Frank, the cello must soar. Let it soar. Let it sing. ”
So I did. With its four movements and over half an hour duration the cello concerto is longer, bigger . It hovers between Dvorak and Lutoslawsky – of course. It has to . As in both its mighty predecessors,  the solo instrument here must sing in its bass and chalumeau and tenor and contralto and dizzyingly high soprano register, right through the introductory first movement, the cantabilISSIMO slow movement, a wild screaming  scherzo and a   “we calm the mighty forces, we , wrap up all ”  last movement.
In this work ( as in several other recent works, including the violin concerto  ) I use only my Frank Corcoran’s  Magical Scale  ( these seven notes:   G, A flat, C sharp, D, E flat, F sharp and A ). Only these seven give me the complete linear and harmonic material of all my movements, their building-blocks and my cement. )  .
Three trumpets with lower brass bray a “motto theme ” at the beginning of the first movement. It comes again several times in the course of this movement – and indeed in later movements. The cello enters immediately as a contending answer in this proud agony of  ” Me Solo against Them All ;  the shadow of  Bach’s great Sarabande from the C Major Solo Cello Suite is seldom absent. Here is epic struggle  against a vast array of percussion ..
My Slow Movement is  A Great Song,  – An t- Amhran Mor . Its quasi – quote of Dvorak’s hymn in his slow movement of his cello concerto  runs right through this movement . Oboe and woodwind sing it in the opening bars, whereas four horns have the last word  ( – and watch for my beautiful version for 4 divided celli just before this lyrical music comes to an end ).

My third movement is a  “quasi un scherzo”. It must be certainly the most violent music I’ve ever written, or indeed imagined.  Running through is a rhythmic corset of 5,4,3 and 3  beats in the bar at a cracking gallop of crotchet = 132.  No strings but belting , shouting, shrieking brass , often only one- or two voices with the crushing weight of so many drums and brake-drums and tom-toms and more – all try to crush the solo cello’s human scream in its highest register. In vain they try .
My last movement’s function then is to reconcile bits and smithereens from the previous three , find closure , yet without any cheap solution, to seek a triumphant finish after the all cello’s last scurryings. “In my end is my beginning “.

Each of the four movements has elements of a solo cadenza without ever actually furnishing us with any  extended 19th. c. solo Paganinian cadenza  as such . The cello has to rule its vast orchstra AND to fly free as it  ” extend the bounds of the musically possible ” ( Debussy ) .

FRANK  CORCORAN