Frank Corcoran

irish composer


I call the new Work-In-Progress for strings and 5 ( I think, yes ) single wind :
” VARIATIONS ON MYSELF” for Chamber Orchestra.
World- and village-pump , take note and pity. – Is he gone off his umbilical top ? Autisticity rampans ?
I don´t think; at all. My new musical score is being spun out of my entrails, va bene. Nothing against that in the history of the musical art which I happen to know best; I´m thinking of ” B A C H ” , of Berg et Webern et Father Schön, but also of Josquin´s Dux Ferrariae and of Lutoslawsky and Dimitri Schumann and Robert Shostakovitch , also others of their composing kidney. Basically it´s hew your building blocks out of your own bleeding body, out of my very own named self. – ” Musica autobiographica” ? Not at all, woman ! Have a bit o´bloody sense now !
– Did I get this idea from those two giant sea-gulls outside my hotel-room window on the balcony of Il Monastero recently, sun-lit waves very far below the cells and graves and church and prayer tread-mill of all the long dead Clarissa nuns ( – Poor Clares – ? ) and all arrogant Arragonese ?
I did and I didn´t. Two enormous birds pleading and shouting and curdling and cawing and kidding and kindling and cuddling and spewing and sawing at that oleander was too much. ( I feared for my slashed eyes, nose ) I took their sun-baked advice , also their dawn dandling, clumsy pads a-pawing as the burnished Bay of Naples alba agreed I should. I did.


I am ; therefore I think. This ( only ) appears to be true. One morning it will no longer even appear to be true . True this, by the way ? I will have ceased to think, apparently . I will have ceased, apparently . Apparently this is no part of my lived, imagined, felt or ignored ” self ” – T.V.screen. – No image imaginable, eh , of this negative self-definition ( – Hold on ! Wrong ! – since by then I´ll not be around to have imagined / thought / conceived this etc. etc. ) ?
High up this holy night on Il Monastero Dreamy Descartes chided me . Rightly. ” Consider how that huge, impertinent gull outside your hotel-room door here onto our splendid and airy balcony here high above this rock of the Arragon kings, of their swivy wives and their sweating prisoners and all the ghosts of their Clarissa Nuns, heir predecessors, attacked that oleander tree at the sea-wall over there . Consider how that second gull joined in giant gulls´ fun, in their oleander roistering and choristering, a feathered chorus of airy/ aery clucks, feathery caoines and webbed percussion and insane shrieks, yells and pulling and shoving and biting and prodding and trying to swallow what they could not: that soon they , too, would no longer be members of the class of gulls . No longer be.”


I am writing this on a rickety machine in Il Monastero. That sea-gull ( enormous ) wakens me early each morning outside – his extraordinary sounds couple a mewling baby, a blackbird warble , a yeller from Guantanamo, an old crones caoine on the Aran Islands in the forties, a manic cackle, a turtle dove and so on. Extraordinary…


This special composer e-shot is to let you know about
the launches of two very exciting projects which are
taking place on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

The first is the launch of our digital archive initiative,
The Irish Composers Project. We are delighted that the newly
appointed Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,
Jimmy Deenihan TD, will launch this major project for CMC.
The launch will take place in CMC at 12:00pm on Tuesday, 24 May.

On the Monday evening prior to this, 23 May, at 6:00pm, we will
have the launch of our Dublin Literary New Music Trail 2011.
The trail is a celebration of the rich connections between
Irish writers and Irish composers, in recognition of Dublins
UNESCO City of Literature status, and will be launched by
CMC’s Director, Evonne Ferguson.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at either or both
of the events!


He is not late at all. The crumbs shall fall. And the biteens and morsels to enable mighty work continue. Patience . Pazienza. This site needs up-dates. It will. The Works. The Pomps. The Thoughts Behind The Green Door. The Seven Veils. The Seven Sorrows. The Joys. The Glorious Power.


The cats have banished the snakes, it seems. I am certain. Less lizards above near the main house, as the hot sun is cooled by the tramontana from the Cold Mountain. Handling ten instruments now, wind quintet and string quintet, great colouristic fun. Density also an issue, thick or thin strands of music, pull a line out of shape or elongate a section in the middle. The end, my end, will have each of the five wind soloing over a massed string chord. Colour, yes. But we´re back to the interval as building brick, minor second and ( not undangerous ) minor third. That´s all.


” I ”
“Am” , yes, in Arcadian ” Paradise” . This
May night-smells an´awl. Owl ould sonata, my mellow melodia,
my calabroni could …. ( – with my snakes still at their siesta , I do suppose it´s too cool-fresh for any forked tongue; yet my misplaced and unfortunately ungloved weeding right hand tomorrow morning could ivery instantly prove how stupid I was with this ) , my wild insects and birds ands boars and lizards and symphonic night-sounds and right sounds and fight – mate – duel- imbibe – grovel-swallow-vomit-enthuse WHY EVER ?


This May valley , my plain plain, warms up. How separate the dancing work from its poor dancer / its composer ? From its success(es)? – Ballyhoo versus “perfection” of my nocturnal strivings / shrivings ? Take with this dauncer , for once, this my deep breath now, once, for ever, with me: I am beginning my next composition: ” Variations On FRANCIS CORCORAN “.
For winding wind plus strings.