In I.M.M.A., Dublin : at the current ” The Moderns” Exhibition, how the
Irish art(s) of the seventies was,
Frank Corcoran´s choral score ” MEDIEVAL IRISH EPIGRAMMES ” .
( 1972 RTE Singers , conductor Hans Waldemar Rosen at, I think, the National Gallery. A RTE recording, eventually went to the 1979 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. )
My Irish seventies….Mol an óige agus tiocfaigh sí. Certainly.
Coda or cod ? How on earth to end a new work ? Seek the cadence, yes, but , ah, it´s easier said. An ” auskomponiert” crescendo or decrescendo or ascent or descent or symphonic death by collapse or implosion or echoes of the composed past or even the big monumental thing ? All of these are thinkable. But which?
This all we call musical form, the strategist´s dramaturgy; as with our “How´ll I begin ? ” , I dare say. Dare it. All systems blaring and blazing and in medias rerum as the conductor´s ” Down!” beats; it´s time-honoured yet often eternally fresh. Then consider the wobble initialis, the hesitant viola solo, the wait and keep waiting for something “new” to happen.
So cadence at the end and suspense at the beginning ? The middle bit dares to develop, to weave, swerve, aquaplane, assert and question what ?
So AW ( = “The Artwork” ) then equals B (-egin ) plus D (-evelop )
plus FC ( = “Find Correct Cadence, Frank Corcoran ” ). Simple, daring maths. Would that it were so.
Fine. Wrap up now. Getting fierce cold here.
Crack or clack finger bones in this bracing December cold.
“Ireland consists of one huge grave-yard. They like to keep it that way: it reminds them that they have suffered. ” Good man, John Cage. Still, not too cold for a few Haikus, quasi variations.
Fair Narcissus slid
Under to watery death
He kissed his Greek lips
Flailing wildly the
Lush, lithe youth drowned in his own
His Greek curls combed high
Narcissus slipped and, drowning,
Halved his reflection.
Young, wet ephebos
Kissed his own mouth as he fell
To his water-death.
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 ?
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.
1. Icy wind. 2. Hang on to the ( Atlantic VERY feral ) composer´s
prow. 3. Record what these two , faithful to their fingers, finger. 3.
No ? No. No. M new(est) works vomit and bow.
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.
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 .
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. “
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 ?