Frank Corcoran

irish composer

ICICLES ON MUSICAL WALLS . NR. 2.

These frozen finger-bones clack on their bodhrán message. Winter out !
Then consider “QUASI UNA VISIONE” by Frank Corcoran for that crazily balanced Ensemble Modern .
It was (
cold, sic et non, but not these clacking finger-bones ) no mean achievement . Try to compose that RTE 2005 ” Living Music” Festival, 18. February 2005, ” QUASI UNA VISIONE ” for so few strings PLUS so strong brass PLUS wood and percussion ? Re-try ?

COLD DECEMBER FINGER-BONES CLACK AND CRACK

This e-corner has in the past ( modestly enough) considered a few modest themes. eg.
the composer´s time, the composer´s times, quare themes and sighs, society and its new music, art as eg. conceal the Horatian transmutation of measured sound into gold or into geld. Then there´s musical charlatans etc.
Little e-snips and e-insights, whistle down the wind, music stringy, blown, hacked or whacked motivs. Keeping the hand in, watch the lips; this humble corner fights against sonic rubbish and world music-rape. In itself it is a small contribution at the cold end of a cold November in very cold Advent Hamburg at the end of a, my good enough year. “Winter out” this winter. In this e-corner today we blow gently on the flame, co-wintering. Don´t let the fire out ! Do not forget high ecstasy; it was a southern sun and me
setting ( for S.S.A.A.T.T.B.B. Choir) my very own texts , my own EIGHT HAIKUS BY FRANK CORCORAN.
Take a typical choral trigger:
” A crow , snatching snow / Beak, claw, craw, all white and black / The eye pitiless “.
And what a trigger ! The ” a” s and ” o ” s and ” b” s and ” k”, ” cr” etc.
Yes, I composed my EIGHT HAIKUS texts as eight triggers for the
plosive-lyrical-melismatic-ackrobatickery of ecstatic choir sounds.
Don´t let this wintry flame out.

I SWIM WITH THE MIGHTY RHINE ( IN BASLE )

Well censure our composer charlatans. Well-crafted be my radio-utterances , written and e-typed shorts about Seáiníní Cage . He – and I – died defending ” independence. ”

Apparently, you, that composer, must begin with. With eg. x y z tones / harmonies / rhythm-coloure-thickness etc. Best you´d ( I learned this from Boris Blacher, his death approaching, it was 1970 ) expose , develop , re-gurgitate them or their all changed selves.

TO LIVE IS , WHISPER , TIPTOE , TO SUFFER

Consider, okay in its splendid self, the quickie, the ” quasi un haiku” . Breve and semi-breve, no bad ally in these bad, bad times.
The repertoires shiver ever more, together . For the ( few remaining ) biggy music-agencies in London . Ever more orchestras are ( made ) prepared ( ? ) to perform ( ? ) ever ( ? ) less composers. Whisper. I tiptoe. Suffer.
No, it is neither ” inevitable ” , nor was it always so . ( Suffer me at this e – moment to remain silent about an everpresent “musical” charlatanerie in “our” European music-map this , on ” our” ” arts´” brittle November Hamburg night .

BACK TO SQUARE ONE AGAIN, I´M AFRAID TO SAY

I see the “Well, then, who´s is the actual art-work ? ! ” brigade are back.
Is it the artist´s ? Her music-copyist´s ? The perception of all its potential / actual audiences ( shaky mathematics here; slobbery metaphysics ) till the end of Time ( when´ll that be, Saint John Wayne ? ) ? What then of the author´s rights ? Writes?
Rite and reason conflate and conflict , surely, in the musical composition, whether it is the concept, the score or the sounding brass ? Is that it ? Right so.
Hafiz sings ( sounds ? ) it well:
” Come – the Palace of Heaven rests on pillars of air.
Come – and bring me wine; our days are wind. “

NORTH ATLANTIC AWFUL LONELY , BRENDAN NAVIGATE

I see it differently. The same questions keep cropping up.
What is a musical composition ? One of mine , say ? 1. Old chestnut, is it my thought out concept , my scribbled and messy score, a bloody awful or sublimely musical performance ? Or what ? Could it be the sum total of all that mental time I spent with my obscure intuitions, my dreamed up intervals, synaesthetic colours and all ? ( Surely not ? ) Is it perhaps the sum total of all its performed performances ( are there others ? ) , actual or potential ? The score as a list of sound-possibilities , whether sound or not ? – Sound gerrul that you are …. And then , why ” my ” ? Surely, when it´s finished, it is – like any child of mine – then launched into the world of others, fighting its own corner, offering possibilities and interpretations each time different ? No longer ” my ” then ? Or still, for ever ” my ” ?

I blow on my cold fingers. twice, thrice. Is this music ?

DON´T BE BOULD , SON , EASY NOW !

So am I my tones ? My eg. “feeling-tone ” ? Well ? If, it´s well-known, after all, that ” Cadenza = Death ” ? See what I might say or see ? )

Yes, these last five or six years were rich. Very. We recorded the hay-results. Backing our, at that time, Killavalla black mare and the switch now had become a, my , poor, little diagonal – pull a handle tripped hay-car , I was still very young, it was very precious . Certainly, this world would become my Swiss ” Alm ” , my rescue from this desert I trod. Yes, I
did reason. ” Who´ll love me ? In this, my idyllic Irish North Tipperary bog infinitely killing ? Me ?

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA : A VERY CODA

I do so love my wastepaper basket; so airy-light ; so kenotic. He who empties himself should.
Certainly nowadays, every new Corcoran work is an obsession. My remaining years, yelling at the Second Law Of Obsessed Thermodynamics, must. Obsession with a motiv, a few intervals, a hidden text or texture. New SONGS OF TERROR AND LOVE ( March 14 2011 New York Premiere – watch this space ) to texts in Umbran and English by Jacopone da Todi are obsessed by the opening motivs of his ” Stabat Mater ” and Tommaso da Celano´s ” Dies Irae ” . Quite apart from various spins off from these great Medieval Latin Hymns ( are they hymns ? ) I react also to spins off his texts, I know.
My new Violin Concerto ( premiere 2012 in Dublin – again, watch this space ) is certainly obsessed with the four open strings of the soaring violin ( – how could it be otherwise ? ) , but also with the lightness of being and bow, the linearity of all my sung song, occasionally plucked, too . “RHAPSODIC BOWING ” for 8 Celli ( 2011 premiere ; again, this space …. ) as my title announces its obsession with deep or high cello strings. ” SYMPHONIES OF SYMPHONIES OF WIND ” for 23 Wind ( 1981 Vienna premiere by the O.R.F.S.O. / Lothar Zagrosek ) is a different obsession again, eg. with the deepest B Flat of the Double Bassoon ( fff ) at the end. Blown obsessions also obsess.
Or take the ” EIGHT HAIKUS BY FRANK CORCORAN ” for Double Choir ( again, it will be 2011 ) and my obsession there with vowel music, sung colours .

WOE IS ME TO REPEAT MY SONG. AND YET WHY ?

Again, why ? A double white martyrdom , flight from which precise address was the question that wanted no smarty pants answer ( a bit like the desired ” Why Don´t The Irish Understand Non Improvised / Traditional Music ! ? ” – well, why don´t we ? – ) like ” shure, the ould sow sulks now ! ” or such like. It was a great grace. Oisín i ndiaidh na Féinne had the grace of an Early Celtic ( poor John Wayne ) birth ; his fleeting steer hung on to this long harp ( tuned, as it happened , in E Flat . It did. ) . Fair enough the German blonde locks; and long after Fianna father´s tears had morphed into a holly sprink. With this, its ink now blog this: we build and build – a pity ! And have not here a lasting city ! But where we should endure , Sure there we´re SO unsure ! Why is this ? Watch tomorrow .