Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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Nov. 2. 2012. National Concert Hall Dublin. 20.00

Frank Corcoran : VIOLIN CONCERTO world-

premier ( National Symphony Orchestra , Conductor : Christopher Warren-Green, Solist Alan Smale ) in the NSO Concert
” Songs In The Key Of Life And Loss”.
19.00 Frank Cororan talks about his new Violin Concerto in ” Soundings ” with Colman Pearce


I marvell still at the systolic slop-slap-swish-wash of my blood as The Great Surgeon navigated the ( Amazonian ) ventricular system with my new stent up near the hypothumotic heart. Certainly it´s in my new ” VARIATIONS ON MYSELF” for 5 Wood-wind and Strings. Somewhere in these knotted musical lines, metric or aleatoric, as they spin out the ” F R A n Cis Es C o R cor A n” of my umbilicus, my name. My very self. In lines , blocks, the individual tone. Variations.
Premiere in New York City, March 2013.


Oxford Music Online Encyclopedia

(only accessible through


Corcoran has developed a distinct and complex language of aleatory
macro-counterpoint in which sound layers are superimposed polyphonically but
retain independence through distinctive polymetric, agogic and dynamic
indications. This technique is evident from the early Piano Trio (1978) to Ice
Etchings no.1 and Mad Sweeney (both 1996). His many cultural interests are
reflected in the texts of his vocal works; the opera Gilgamesh (1990), for
example, is based on a Sumerian epic. The Irische Mikrokosmoi for piano (1993)
are based on traditional Irish melodies and rhythms.


It´s very early still; mist on the garden trees caused by ( Mussolini´s fault? ) Lake Corbara, the older farmers insist.It´ll rise later as the killing sun moves in. Yes. In a world of hype. In an age of scopology, of gawking, seeing is believing. In this century of ( apparently ) looking ( – it´s too lazy even to be and become reading, registering, replying with eyes wide shut to any deeper reality ) the visual, therefore film, video, you-and-me Tubing and FaceDeBooking and Twittering and Teething and Twitting reign supremo. So the art of listening hasn´t a look in, the arts of sound, of sounding, of music in any even modest form ( I forget De New Dirt, Technowrapping or shtomping or electro-screeching, yowling of all imperious or impertinent kinds… ). No interest. No presence in a world of peeping, gawking hype. Hype on. The mist also rises. The sun is sneaking.


It´s all very well, young Bach´s ” Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen” in BWV 82 ( Fische-Dieskau´s singing thereof unforgettable, yes; now it´s his eyes… So what ? ). To die. To what, did you say ? This rationally insoluble question is as old as the Neanderthaler, the cave-dauber, the three-note composer, on the swan-bone flute from 10,000 B.C. Catal Huyuk.It spawned religion, art,cathedrals, laws ( you could argue) and mores and more. Slumber?
“Das Nichts nichtet ” ? That is it ? Or that´s not it ? Be silent, our Celleno cats, as the light slides snidely.