It was an intolerably humid summer-night at Lake Michigan , 1990 in Milwaukee. My drained year as a Fulbright Guest-Professor in the U.S.A. was ending ; two shadows lay over the family, my wifeÂ´s insanity and the violent death of my oldest son, Rory, shortly before. The University of Wisconsin Library purchased a facsimile edition of the Book of Kells in Lucerne. It commissioned me to compose a work for this event. My soulÂ´s flood-gates opened then. This one-movement canvas for a vast array of percussion and , at the end,
Irish pianist ( – I was he- ) paints my Early Medieval Ireland, that strange interfacing of Celtic monastic Christianity and pagan tribal forces, war , peace, prayer, cattle-stealers and saints and druids and kings…. Quiet opening bells and gongs give way to deep drums, later timpani and brake-drums, an great ocean of sound-associations .
MUSIC FOR THE BOOK OF KELLS (1990)
All that we saw was his shadow under his shield
5 perc pf MS13â€²
Commissioned by Book of Kells Committee
of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Premiere: 27 May 1990. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.
New Music Ensemble, Frank Corcoran (pf), conductor Pavel Burda.
Mad Sweeney. Percussion Modern, Frank Corcoran(pf), conductor Dieter Cichewiecz.
Black Box 1999. BBM1026
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Mark Brannan on March 7, 2007 at 4:16 am said:
I’m glad that there is a recording of this! I was there at its premiere 17 years ago (was it that long ago already??) as a quiet 19-year-old disciple of James Liddy, and I was better known as “Dave’s brother Mark” at that time (or: unknown at all).
I remember the intensity of both yourself as well as that of Pavel Burda. I was unaware of all that was going on in your life at that time. The quote, “All that we saw was his shadow under his shield” meant a lot to me at the time, and it still stays with me to this day, along with the music that helped shape that phrase.
Frank Corcoran on July 17, 2010 at 3:20 pm said:
Dear Mark Brannan, Just found your 2007 lines on my http://www.frankcorcoran.com – delighted ! ( You´ll see, computing isn´t quite my cup of tea…. Ah , yes ! My BOOK OF KELLS at U.W.M. in , was it, 2000 ? And Pavel Burda ….
Mark, have you by any chance ( or your brother, Dave – say ” Hi! ” to him from me – ) got an address and /or email for Jim Chapman ? I wanted to write him a line after poor James Liddy´s death which – here at Hamburg or here in Italy where I compose now – I heard about only roundab