Frank Corcoran

irish composer

MY LAST LAST CHANGE OF ADDRESS EVER IN HAIRY HAMBURG

CHRISTMAS COMES EARLIER EACH AIRY YEAR

Damned to sparagmos and pithishit, synthetic psychology with very little child´s tinsel left over ; that´s one way to pitch our human fate´s faith. The parataxis in some of the less bloody Psalms, of course, hints at golden glory Halleluia , the Plan B, we´ll have to call it.
My contrapuntal skill at surviving must marry a ” blow, bugles, blow” Chorus with a ” Is it that bodybags await us all ! ” Cantata .
Take as my title : “The birth of macrocounterpoint out of merry spirits at this our rapidly nearing Christmas Solstice”, that´s what Ishould be lecturing on, flying out soon from cold Hamburg to cold New York. Watch the tail-wind, whatever I do.
As geese fatten, turkeys will tremble. Each one, all. At all the Good News.
The house-mover cometh, ´tis no Holy Joke , rather more of a ” He flatteneth what he willeth , he filleth small joybooks and large kids´books into smelly cardboard boxes. Nor is he mocked by marching music. ” – I´ll chance an unwieldy title, ” The Unholy Alliance of Psalmic Parataxis.”
The house-movers hie nigh and our table heaped for the Feast .
This blog has in the past been known to equate altars with table-cloths and the knife that killed the golden goose or the Holy Solstice turkey. It now has the gall to question its blog´s festive joy, the aerodynamics of my December flight to North America. Westward ho and the wrapped child´s toy steam-rolle at Christmas .
Is there here the makings of another good Princeton lecture ? – The paratactics of the Psalms before December dark sneaks up on me totally ? ( Remember 2006´s blog , pre X-mas ? ) Music was born out of ritual killing and festive turkey-stuffing . How hymn it ?
If I am composed of time, I am temporal, my personal memory has been growing since first I graced my perambulator. I am who am. I am becoming. Will I be ? A has-been, also. Watch the tail-wind ( all that frosty flight-path back from New York ) above at eleven thousand metres. That golden goose on our Christmas table is, or it certainly was purely temporal .
No more she´ll cackle: ” who will google Mr. Google ? ” Our turkey died for thee and thee. After the house-move is over, after the ball is done, the time for tinsel ´s come. Suspend the sparagmos; desist insisting ” I am but pissishith ” . Or ” pithishith ” either !
There will be time before the tail-wind blows and the music stops hymning its lie . He filleth our festive cards and our carol texts and our turkey leavings into the cardboard house-movers´ boxes. How can parataxis face up to that, ye Psalms?

—————–
Weitergeleitete eMail:
Thema: Fwd: Christmas Hies 4
Datum: 16.11.2007 15:36:53 Westeuropäische Normalzeit
Von: FBCorcoran
An: FBCorcoran

In einer eMail vom 16.11.2007 14:07:24 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:
CHRISTMAS COMES EARLIER EACH AIRY YEAR

Damned to sparagmos and pithishit, synthetic psychology with no child´s tinsel left over ; that´s one way to pitch human fate´s faith. The parataxis in some of these less bloody Psalms, of course, hint at golden glory Halleluia , the Plan B, we´ll have to call it.
My contrapuntal skill marries the ” blow, bugles, blow” Chorus with ” Is it , then, that bodybags await us all ! ”
And ” The birth of macrocounterpoint out of the merry spirits of this our rapidly nearing Christmas Solstice”, is that what I´ll lecture on, flying out very soon from cold Hamburg to cold New York ? Watch the tail-wind.
As geese fatten, turkeys tremble on this blessed night. Each one, all. At all the Good News.
The house-mover cometh, no Holy Joker but more of a ” He flatteneth what he will, he filleth small little joybooks into cardboard boxes. He is not mocked by marching music. ” – Is that what I should be lecturing on at Princeton , how music can at all contain Our Snowy Solstice Synthesis ? Or will I chance the unwieldy title, ” The Unholy Alliance of Psalmic Parataxis. Movers move house and the table heaped for the Feast .”
This blog has in the past been known to equate altars with table-cloths plus the knife that killed the golden goose or turkey or whatever . It has had the gall to question my festive joy or my aerodynamics in transatlantic flight, Westward ho, and the wrapped Christmas toy steam-roller. – Is there the makings of another good New York or Princeton lecture here ? – Paratactics before any December dark sneaks up on me ? Music was born out of the festive ritual killing , turkey-stuffing, you agree ? Does my very own macrocounterpoint lie in the very moment that it hymns ? And yet I am time, I am temporal, my personal memory growing and growing since first I ruled a perambulator. I am who am. I become. Will I be ? A has-been, too, my tail-wind ( all my frosty flight-path back from New York ) fading above at eleven thousand metres. My golden goose on the Christmas table is, or it certainly was pure time. A has been now , just like her table-companion, the turkey. No more she´ll cackle: ” But who will google Mr. Google ? ” She died. For thee and thee. Our fine turkey , also. After the house-move is over, after the ball is done. The time for tinsel ´s come. Suspend the sparagmos; desist insisting I am but pissishith. Or pithishith either ! There will be time. Before the tail-wind takes over and the music stops hymning, singing its lie or not. He fillith festive cards and carols and fine turkey leavings into cardboard house-movers´ boxes. How will parataxis face that, ye Psalms?

Yes, I do flutter and I do phight and I struggle and I rattle against these bars, this cage, that oaf, all these our tribulations and trials and our ( Pauline , of course – that unwashed , unwived mendicant preacher was a poet of world-class…. ) cross. The good fight, – perhaps it´s this PLUS AN GLÓIR which is the motor of culture, the real moth´s sizzle ? The mire and the quag and the glory behind or beyond ennui ( that foe which never sleepeth ? ? ) . Without me Deutschlandfunk would have no REAL content to broadcast to the edges of poor Steven Hawkings´ universe, apparently…. Content is very fine ; yet formless it lieth denuded there , unable to phly , phight or phlutter .

” They also serve who only stand and wait ” ( John Milton ) .

Did Milton ever hear of Bash ? Or of O ? No . Nor viceversa . Is this question trivial or quodrivial ? Both.

Why?

NOVEMBER REMAINS SUSPICIOUSLY MILD

Well, it is. How natural a thing to hop on the waggon of a great composer one has however fleetingly known. Take ” Remembering Ligeti ” as this pan – European phenomenon rather than a genuine memorial to a giant of contemporary ( now , alas, no longer ! ) music. I remember the tea-filter he gave me as I came to Hamburg in 1983 , as he said Hamburg water was very poor tea-water. He was right. I remember the recording-copy he made himself for me of the then still freshly performed opera , ” Le Grand Macabre” , how he was still dissatisfied with certain places in the writing. Even after several revisions and cuts. Opened my ears ( – though I didn´t agree ).

I remember in ” The Sound Of Exile ” ( published in RTE´s THE QUIET CORNER , 2004 New Ireland Press, ed. Eoin Brady ).

I also remember – and am remembered, re-painted, interviewed – in Lutz Lesle´s ” Seelenlandschaft einer Insel ” ( Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 4 of July 2002 ).

I remember as well ” Frank Corcoran – Substanz für die Zukunft” with Hans Dieter Grünefeld
( Music Manual, Vienna, of Spring 2002 ) .

I try to remember myself , then, in ” It´s A Cold Wind Blows On An Irish Composer ” ( Kunst/Musik 4, Cologne, Spring 2005 )

Dokumenta 2008 in Kassel remembers to slap filmed bits of my thoughts on aesthetics and the
tea-filter on its 2008 filmed interview. I´ll dig out that web.

Magyar Rádió, Budapest, remembers to present my ” Ireland And Hungary” in English and Hungarian at its May 2006 Hommage à Bartók with the premiere of my then new ” Quasi Un Basso”.

I remember my J.M.I. essays , the seminal ” Do Dolmens Lament? ” ( Nov. 2001 ) , ” My Music Is A Four-Letter Word” ( March 2001 ) and especially ” Sligo New Music Festival 2000″ ( November 2000 ). – Has any Irish musicologist, music-theorist, music-pope, music-philosopher ever addressed my thesis ? – Remember ? The ” Irish Mikrokosmoi” were ” Scenes From My Receding Past”, remember ? They remember. Tones remember , too; also tonal masses , tonal wash, tone-colour, tonal lines and spaces and textures and cells and the geniality of a Ligeti idea or a Lutoslawsky rhythmic skein.

JUST TO PROVE I AM NOT YET PARALYSED

Dec. 29 N.D.R. 3 KULTUR . “Prisma – Musik ” . Frank Corcoran gives a two-hour Höranalyse
of Mozart´s G-Minor Symphony Nr. 40 .
The hearable unity between the themes and movements , the bearable behind the unbearable.

Will I talk about this at Princeton , December 14 coming up by stealth ? There IS a logical growth out of pre-born phonemes . Suffering, passive and active, does flow towards the Sacred Word, horror, fascinating and terrible, it is indeed the long shadow of human ex-istence and my words become Irish pipe-music. Treachery is ubiquitous in language, in memory, in blogging perception , whether the words and tones are self-referential or only half so. My Cello Solo-Suite I wrote in 1970. Did I ? It was influenced by Bach, Kodaly, Henze, that over-blown Reger. No art without the past. Níl séarach gan sanctóir. Suppose they hesitantly ask if even those who crucify can expect salvation ? How will Mozart compose not a programme but a correlative in sounds? Who´s the idiot now ? The future is obviously on the minds of a group like Ensemble Modern. Yet the future is unknowable. It´s when I look back that I see the Taj Mahal. ( Sorry about that ) . Every good art-work is a vision heard. In this short blog my theme is farewell. Sound is life. Sound takes leave of this world, of the women and nature of 7 th. c. Ireland. Machine- and human sound sing their last song. Ad multos annos is fine for some. Language does envy tone. Oh if the leaves of the old year were gold itself. As a young lad, my ears were clean.

NOVEMBER WOODS

Why should I care? Let them be heard ? By whom ? Vanish unheard ? Why exactly would this be a pity ? – They are born, they are long born ( I admit it, a difficult birth in each case, each time the breaking of electro-acoustic waters long before. Still ), they´ve long left this house of liberty and lounge in hope of just what now ?
I tend to group the three tallest ( i.e. my longest ; yes, musical duration, never a mere joke, is and stays a prime mystery of time – what´s five minutes of music ? Sixteen minutes ? Watch how your watch is mocked by formed sound ) of my electronic children together .

” SWEENEY´S VISION” , triggered off , some say, by Early Medieval Irish psychiatry in one sense, in another was just the oldest of compositional problems all over again : how ´ll I spin it out ? How derive it all from Bar One ? I was proud when it won the Premier Prix at the Bourges Festival 1999 . Long and lanky, it has great Shannon ( and Rhine ) head-waters , ” Sweeney” ululations and at one point almost a bit of Mozart´s Clarinet Concerto from a whale-wail . I tend to hear nowadays yet other points of connection to its ( also lanky ) sister of 1999, ” QUASI UNA MISSA” , than anyone has yet admitted .

Here in ” QUASI ” is, as any donkey can hear , a more specific wordiness celebratory, it´s audible scaffolding is more up-front . I´ll have to hear it again on my next birthday.

” TRADURRE = TRADIRE ” ( – but is it really ? Always and ever ? ) is the third of the Three Electric Lanks. Over the top, it
is this special sisters´ polyphony , the mutating texts and morphing choral whispers, screams, groans, snorts, farts and the music of those thirty three pipers at my future funeral. The Irish , English and German translations are treacherously traded , I recycle bits , perhaps it is a strange sonic coinage at this stage of this Irish composer´s cosmic anonymity.

Between the very first two children of my computer-loins there was also that strange ( and shortest ) ” SWEENEY `S FAREWELL ( – I´ll give it its full title in this Blog ) TO THE WOMEN OF IRELAND ” . It´s dense roilings are not even five minutes long ; where is the border between deep physical earth-sounds, human birth-pangs, a composed kingdom of massive sounding beasts of the ocean, monsters of the cosmos?

Seventeen ( they were long ) years before in 1997 I bore ” SWEENEY ´S VISION ” there had been an analogue boy-child ; ” BALTHAZAR´S DREAM ” I called these bleeding, cut and cooked sound-chapters of suffering ; it was, after all, my Berlin in my 1980. I was plucky. No digital magic on any compositional horizon back then . My Borgean vision sufficed. The technology was woeful. And guitar-sounds became siren, became rain ; human suffering became hammer – blows at a cross, Borges´s Spanish Cross. This electrical essay I felt compelled to make. Why ? You feel it . I certainly can. Ritual killing might just be fun if you´re on the right side. My Balthazar was not.
Why now should I care if these , my electro-childer , ever make their way ( they do ) through European Festivals ? Corcoran´s Third Law ( – there is to date no First Law in sight, nor no sign of a Second ) of Transcendental Musical Goodness forbids any connection between an art-work´s quality and its mixed reception anywhere, any time, in any imaginable universe . Let these four and a half brave sons or daughters of my electric loins ( – break down , weeping , my good taste and sense ) ” exist” . Add to them, I daresay, ” JOYCEPEAK – MUSIK ” of 1996 ( – again, a prize followed; – Oh how it mattered ! ) , my yellowing prints of a long faded Musical Dublin where neither I nor my peasant, down-country family had ever felt comfortable in, now my kissing the feet of The Master Of All Irish Composers In Trieste .

BUSY EQUINOX DECEMBER

Dec. 12 2007 New York University / Ireland House

FRANK CORCORAN – IRISH COMPOSER Portrait

Dec. 13 Princeton University . Music Dept. Portrait Frank Corcoran

Dec. 14 Princeton University . Frank Corcoran ” THE DOLMEN´S LAMENT “

IN THE BRAVE NEW YEAR

January 13 . 2008

100 Years Ago – The Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin Was Opened ! We mark this with :

Gallery At Noon Concert . 12.00 The Callino Quartet premieres :

Frank Corcoran´s THIRD STRING-QUARTET ( 2006. 14´. )