Frank Corcoran

irish composer

ROLL OVER RYOTO ; BASH BASHO

More shy, wee Feb-Scribbles today, it seems:

1. Once they were pine-trees.
That morning came that Great Wind.
They are now no more.

2. Old tides rush in where
No hovering white angel
Dares begin its tale.

3. My hovel, my cave
Remains the same this new year
Does not it, too, age ?

4. Around Greenland
White spume of cold breakers
White noise, cold music.

RAVENOUS FOR EVERY RIVEN THING

It´s still shy February. Time to polish the frozen pen: well, what about ” THE FOUR SEASONS” or some such ? Let´s scribble un po´ :

1. The lark is larking
Sparkling quavers and crotchets
Its whole life-long day.

2. As the day is long / A hungry crow´s beak open /
Caws : ” I am a crow !”

3. For the womb the seed
Sighs. For light the eternal
Dark Polar midday.

4. New Year born today.
Birthday gay. But I am aged
Many years new-born.

SUPPOSE I WERE TO DIE IN ( NOT ” OF ” ) THAT MOONSHINE ?

Stop hinging! Unhinged ? ! Fact was (and still is ) that the 2010
„ FOUR ORCHESTRAL PRAYERS „ for Soprano and Orchestra ( in January 2010 , N.S.O. /
Colman Pearce, Soprano : Chloe Hinton ) with sublime God-texts by eg. Our Old Tipperary Neo-Platonist, Johannes Scotus Erigena – hey, you´d really prefer this to our post-colonial discourse ? – Okay, “my” Eriugena sank without a trace in Dublin, dear, dear
Unesco Literature Capital City.
I believed that I did continue the goodly fight; it was thru fire and dungeon. – Believe in what ?
Long after all was gone up the Killavalla chimney, ah, I did still yearn for it. Something Beyond ; desperately some Justice, somehow beyant. Mythic ironing out. Somehow. Beyond the stars. Kissing tears away from all blinded cheeks, all those just victims. Shure I did ! Beyond cosmic indifference, in a yet Friendly Albeit Just Indifference.
Believed? And in music ? I had to compose. To bend those poor tones to my will, yerra, a mere child.

I´LL TEASE THIS FURTHER

Turn over, poor, dead Edward Said : – but that our little land could carry the (deeply, mythically )
anti-symphonic colonist / Wild Colonial Boy polarity over well into the astonished present…. Maybe that´s why we´ve not got further
with Irish composed music ?
Suppose you wanted to compose this Corcoran Haiku for Doublebass and Jam-Jar ? – Just suppose:
” The priest dried her hair
Black desire and beautiful
Electricity”.
Well ? No good going back to a Slow Air , to imperial Elgar, to Viennese espressivo Webern or our own troppo Schumannesque
´O Riada. You´ve got to invent . Your own composition. Make it new. Hark, the past masters, okay. Now it´s your turn with line ´n colour ´n rate-of-flow ´n bend ´n astonish ´n pacify ´n seek musical closure , your jam-jar suitably stroked, bowed, smashed or spat into ( all, in their own compositional context , thinkable ). Well ?

DUBLINSWELL , UNESCO City Of Literature

Irish composers of my generation had a hard slog in the seventies. I remember them well.
” Irish” did not fit seamlessly to ” Composer”. ( ” What ? You´re an Irish WHAT ?!” ) . Nor “cumadóir” to ” na h´Eireann “. Polite incomprehension. Total disbelief.
Is there any greater understanding nowadays that composed music is , well, art ? That a musical work composed by an Irish composer is, well, Irish art ?
No. Behind the seeming progress, there is not understanding of how and why and who bind sounds together in , yes, well, a musical syntax to compose sounding brass or
tinkling cymbal. Serious ( or hilarious ) art-music. Crafted time and embroidered lines, masses, metaphors, sonorous dolmens. No. Where should help in “understanding” Irish composed music come from ? From where ?

HOW DO I DEFINE A MUSICAL SNOB ?

23 April 2006 National Gallery Of Ireland

CONCORDE Ensemble: Frank Corcoran´s

“The Light Gleams” as part of BEYOND BECKETT 2006.

“Music is the idea itself,
Unaware of the world of phenomena,
existing ideally outside the universe. ”

( …. Samuel Beckett )

FOR WHOM THE SEED SIGHS ?

It was, well, 2003. The ( Irish ) Arts Council commissioned ” my brand-new : QUASI UN CONCERTINO” for the Croatian chamber orchestra in Zagreb, “Cantus ” Ensemble . ( My native Tiobrad ´Arainn held its hilarious breath . It had to. Which history had prepared whom for that ( Croatian ) WHAT of me, Tipperary´s illustrious son, 1944 till, I´d reckon, 1956, eh, melodious son ? ) .
Bero Sipus, Chief Conductor of the Zagreb Opera and of the Philharmonic Concerts and, too, of Cantus New Music ( they´d heard of me …. ) , was no daw.
So 2004, was it, on that idyllic island of Shakespeare´s Corcyla, down at the old ( – yes, Venetian ) harbour, he premiered my ” Quasi Un Concertino ” for “his” 12 superb ” Cantus” players. Poised their wood-wind and hot, sweaty, his world-class hornist, piano, percussion plus that five Corcoran string quintet; fifteen and a half hefty minutes of WHAT ? Frank Corcoran´s ” QUASI UN CONCERTINO” for 12 Players is world-music, its narrative brilliance, my lonely furrow, the depth of its sonorous imagination: dense violence / quiet piano plus percussion interlude, aleatoric seeking of “Cantus” ´s solo Cello / Flute / Percussion, that probing, my wind-down of the musical argument . Well, Tipperary ? No ! Croatian ? No !

FRANKNESS IS ALL, SURELY ?

Saturday 22. January 2011 on the kindly radio :

NDR KULTUR . On “Prisma Musik ” 20.00 : Frank Corcoran and
Brahms´3. Symphony. Also Frank Corcoran´s ” QUASI UNA VISIONE” ( 2005 Dublin Festival commission ) with Ensemble Modern / Sian Edwards .