Frank Corcoran

irish composer

SAINT NARCISSUS , KEEP US SANE ´N WHOLLY

Dear Accusative / Nominative ” ME”,

1. Are you ?

2. Are you YOU ?

3. Are you ME ?

4. How can I ever be – come you ( – or, of course, “You”, eh ? )

5. which of us loves which ? whom ?

6. Will you prove revengefull – also to my childer ?

7. Should they best kill you, YOU or me ? Us ?

8. I have enough action with My Heavy Arsed First Theorem, certainly : ” I = I ” ( – premature and

banal to walz in here with our ” me” )

AND JUST TO COOL THE HOT JULY MIND

FOUR HAIKUS 2010

1. “E-mail me ” I whinged.

Not one duck in this white plain.

Sad eye is sad world.

2. He´s going blind too,

The phone was dead this Christmas

Bach´s organ very still

3. It is Parkinson´s

Two white organist´s knuckles

Cranned in the snow-clouds

4. My bicycle song:

” Steely fugues, white over black”

Thought keens thus this night.

HARK ! HARK ! THE SUMMER LARK !

Nova
Bernard Clarke Sunday, July 18th. RTE / Lyric FM Radio
9-11pm

Presented by Bernard Clarke. Nova is about new composers, new trends and new audiences. All new music here and now, chronicling what’s radical and what’s conservative, who’s established and who’s in the avant garde. A blend of contemporary classical, electronic, experimental and more. Featuring composer interviews/profiles, Irish works, and concerts from home and abroad.

Frank CorcoranComing up on Nova
Sunday July 18th: This week we hear Frank Corcoran’s Horizon concert recorded in the National Concert Hall last January. Featuring the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and mezzo-soprano Chloe Hinton, this was a rare chance to hear some of the larger scale works of this Hamburg based, Tipperary born composer. A founder member of Aosdána, his output includes chamber, symphonic, choral and electroacoustic music, through which he explores particularly Irish issues like language and history.

THIS HOT SUMMER HOLE IN THE FABRIC

Ciccadas today going for the late afternoon, I hear. The Irish love not their contemporary Irish music ; all a matter of marketing, you´d think so. Heavens ! Give us a bit of a tune! Sure I saw it at the 2005 Zagreb World Music Days, myself a mighty juror, Stanko Horvat now dead nearly as long. A Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra that´d practise my ” QUASI UN CANTO ” ; that´d be the hot Croatian day…

I FORGET NOT MY INSTRUMENTAL CHILDREN

Also in this 2005 – 2010 period, I composed : (moving backwards now in my already flowed time )

9 ASPECTS OF AN IRISH POEM for Solo Violin and Large Choir ( North German Radio
Choir, Conductor : Philip Ahmann )

QUASI UN BASSO for Piano and Bass ( for the American Duo Moderno )

RHAPSODIC BOWING for 8 Celli

2007 MAD SWEENEY / BUILE SUIBHNE for Speaker and Chamber Orchestra ( Translation by Seamus Heaney from the Mddle Irish epic ) Boston Musica Viva – Richard Pittman, Conductor .

2005 QUASI UN CONCERTO for the Zagreb
” Cantus ” Chamber Orchestra. Out on their Cantus label.

Satis est ? I am insatiably curious to know where all this is leading to. Really. Musical thought, even with Pythagoras, waiting to be born. If Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock lets me ( he will ) I´ll quote his very beautiful Gaeilge version here of the haiku :
” Light / Endlessly striving / To be born ”
as:

” Solas // Síordhúil aige // Sa bhreith “.

Sums it up. Same for composed sound. My sounds, sistolic. We are back to Plato, no mean composer himself, even if single-handedly he could´t quite solve the Concept / Sound-wave pair . Pared.

DO I DIALOGUE ? – NOT REALLY

Yerra, I do´nt feel the need nor do I see how it can be done, twitter or blog around the bush or anything else either. Hard enough slog to hear the great inner sounding images, write down the musical knots with bloody nib and craftily catch clots and bolts and lightening flashes and, well, my ecstatic river. Others perform them, it. That´s it.
Certainly there´s room for ( in- ) finite chat post notam, post concentum, post scream as far as I am concerned – and I am – , certainly describe, explain, mediate as best this little man can ( analysis I severely leave alone ! Something smells surely where a composer has to edit fourteen or is it sixteen thick volumes of her dense prose, analytic diagrammes…. Sad, really )

I MUST UPDATE MY LIST OF WORKS SINCE 2004

Might forget. I will type it up backwards::

2010 Violin Concerto
2010 Rhapsodic Bowing for 8 Celli ( Premiere 2010 )
2010 Five Lieder for Tenor and Piano ( Texts by Frank Corcoran )
2009 Eight Haikus for SS AA TT BB Choir
Texts by Frank Corcoran )
Songs Of Terror And Love for Bass Voice And
Pierrot ” Ensemble. ( Jacopone da Todi )
Clarinet Quintet ( RTE commission ) ca. 17
Quasi Una Sarabanda ( Swiss Ensemble “Antipodes” commission for Bern, Zurich and Basle . Swiss Radio rec. )
9 Pratoleva Pearls for Solo Piano ( NCH premiere, 2009 Andreas Skouras )
2008 Quasi Un Preludio for Solo Violin. ( London premiere, Daragh Morgan 2009 )
2007 Quasi Una Fuga for 18 Strings ( Irish Chamber Orchestra . Premiere Limerick Cathedral 2007 Shannon Festival ) .
4 Orchestral Prayers for Soprano and Full Orchestra ( Premiere 2010 with Chloe Hinto , N.S.O. / Colman Pearce , NCH Dublin,
RTE rec.)

More coming. Certainly the tones bend, blend and sparkle, calling to be born, for their Pythagorean-plus-physical ontology.

PRIMA LA MUSICA E POI LA PAROLA

No, the question of word / music won´t go away. Or , more specifically, what text(s) should a composer set. Why ?
A young composer writes Lieder; the text leads, supports, offers form and shape and melodic thrust. Or she goes for choral settings. Ditto.
My ” MEDIEVAL IRISH LYRICS” for the then R.T.E.Singers was a success. ( It went also to Paris to the International Rostrum of Composers ; a little kudos encourages ) Also “HERR JESU CHRIST” for Choir. My very Opus one, ” DÁN AIMHIRGÍN” , used a mythic, Early Irish text. The distance I needed was there.
The problem is there when I come close to a contemporary poet´s words; no distance, mythic or temporal – or linguistic. ( “TWO MEDITATIONS” for Speaker and Orchestra offered its own solution to my using John Barth´s short texts through the very medium of a male speaking voice against orchestral instruments, also the one pitted against the mighty forces… And here , too, a little Paris kudos. With ” 5 LIRIC DE CHUID GHABRIEL ROSENSTOCK” for Soprano and Piano Trio ( Berlin 1979 ) only my naked expressionistic melos could erect the for me necessary distancing. Other examples of this composer´s shyness before and, well, respect for a contemporary poet´s preformed material abound. eg. Seamus Heaney´s ” MAD SWEENEY” ( Boston Musica Viva 2006 ) “saves” my sought distance through its Speaker pitted against Chamber Orchestra. et cetera.
Now I have come to the stage where I will use my own texts , if necessary. The 2009 ” EIGHT HAIKUS” for SS AA TT BB Choir was a successful distancing – my own composed haikus ( the texts are somewhere here below in a past log or blog ) gave the composer – me- an enormous palette of syllabic colours and spat building-blocks and merry melismata etc.
Today, it´s back to my initial problem of forty plus odd years ago ; I am composing “SIX LIEDER ” for Tenor and Piano.
This time, I squirm. How achieve , once again, distance ? Well, again I´ll write my own lied-texts; that haiku-form will offer the scaffolding. Thus:

FIVE HAIKUS AND A SCATTER by Frank Corcoran:

Five dogs or seven
Snarl in the cool evening air
Barking: ” Kill the Spring! ”

Who goes here ? – Summer !
My pen writes on white paper:
“Clarinets! Soft horns!”

Bits of sticky sleep.
My eye tries to see itself.
Morning birds chitter.

Suppose God is light ?
A mountain´s shadow purple ?
-Ciúnas, a h-anaim…

Whisper ” The sunset….”
It tiptoes through the window.
Well is this, then, death?

Five dogs or seven / Barking ” Kill our Spring!” / Eyes trying to see themselves / Whisper ” sun-set” !

NEARLY SPRING NOW I GCATHAIR HAMBURG

It´s easy for the nimble fingers to talk and type about ” The Composer´s ” shaky ICH!” Too raw, often Yet, self-advertising´s your only man if noone else is fulfilling their duty of dissemination – what you would wish a publisher would normally be up to….
Take PARIS June 7th – 12th. Radio Telefís ´Eireann INTERNATIONAL ROSTRUM OF COMPOSERS : Three pieces For Orchestra ( ” Pictures From My Exhibition” ) . Take it. This composer then wrote : ” …. before it too is destroyed; in dying it throws up the bassoon´s final ostinati or an impassioned line for strings which leads nowhere…. ”
Or take “FAREWELL SYMPHONIES” RTE ” Prix Italia ” music entry 1982. Take it. Gently.