Frank Corcoran

irish composer


In einer eMail vom 24.09.2006 08:03:28 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

This scanning of all my Caseys’ 1927
National School Calendar
endears Alto Lazio of the Popes to
which of their cooler shades ? They
hadn’t a chance, Lord and Lady of All
Aeons, not a penny in his pocket
for little dote Uncle John’s future
tracheotomy ( -yet it’s pre-shadowed
in the hunkered smile; perhaps;
mother is back near the aunties, went
for the second-last row, perhaps her
chance of a worry-free year. )
Contrast this sunny bright Mystical
Garden of Roman medlars, peaches,
wild strawberries, thyme, mint and
onion, cress, capers, vipers’ ivy and
plum and oregano , my green-gold
Mystical Body , with what Protestant

Lugging a green chair from tree to
knell-shadow to olive-hollow in this
very hot July, I mulled over the young
shades of 1927 ; why were ye?
August roasting after the early
morning -hours; in the evening you’d
sob the georgic tears of things, wield
the implacable clippers –
ivy always conceals a serpent’s tooth.
The lake, of course. – Gadaffy’s
North African light and Leitrim
melancholy, take your pick, cleanest
volcanic lake in Italy , it’s deep out
beyond Bisanzio . Did those brown
Casey children ever whinge ? I dare
carpe this diem, a lounging body
under is it an elm, now it’s become a
lovely September morning ? Onions
and garlic were out for those lads.
What the farmer don’t ken, the 1927
childer surely won’t.

Suppose I focus on mother and poor
Uncle John ( ” his trachea all ended ” ),
brown-shaded photographic sisters,

my living dead; suppose they’d
harvest this beautiful crop – my vines

bested, stragglers towards a Spïtlese?

How would beautiful God’s
mud-daughters enjoy?

Lug down from the formal garden to
Garden Number Two where it’s
cooler and wilder. Fuse
their photograph with Virgil’s in his
“Georgics”, his own shining Roman
gurney. How snorts our spinosa
( it’s three in the morning for him!), as
he dares gouge out Lazio spuds ? It is
here if anywhere that I’ll meet
these child-shadows. Their September

” I HATE the sun” is hardly his
jist, St. Patrick’s breast-plate.
Apparently you let your normal snake
go.There IS , mind you, water in
plenty. How those photographed
mites prayed the rain-psalms and ate
their salad salty. Uncle John’s cut
throat fell across the swell of
mother’s door , we’re talking of his
future, mind, far distant
still from that brown- lit 1927 pic.
Hands up, muddy childer. Thyme
and oregano heal. You’ll slap a
half-onion on the twin red pricks.
Keep it in, in under the cool dappled
Georgics: They had their kids’ joys,
their hunkered sorrow not noticed.
Clip, clip merciless with ivy. The
depressed thirties, you could argue,
mud-potatoes , not sun-dappled
apples . Or what if the Lower Garden
has landscaped railway-sleepers and
terr -cotta tiles. Hornets kill wasps
killing flies eating a lovely
garden’s yesterdays. Scan that
school-children’s group-photo
again, my grave family, their muddy
melody, his torn throat , mother’s
worried eyes. Share a pear
across seventy four
years. Stroke our garden cat, all
his oneness with 2006?

Do you remember? ‘Twas
auld September ? By the light of our
teacher’s camera? Plant us, bury us in
Upper Paradiso? ( – Apparently God
is light in the locals’ theology. )
Hauld all Lazio horses! The
November olive-harvest is as
brown as mother’s and Uncle
John’s potatoe-harvest. No cat will
ever bite ye, neither now nor never,
where dead children huddle and
quiver in ecstasy, whistling “We dare
to enjoy, Lazio” .

Between mother up at the back
and little Uncle John’s future
tracheatomy, where’s the viper gone?
Marry mud and medlar.

The Light Gleams

Sept. 3. saw the 3rd. performance of my Dept. of the Arts 2006 commission for the Samuel Beckett Centenary commission, ‘‘The Light Gleams’’ by the Concorde Ensemble at the National Gallery, Dublin. This composition will appear on C.M.C.’s ‘‘CD Contemporary Music from Ireland 6.’’ out shortly this October.

So listen to what…

August 2006

In einer eMail vom 19.08.2006 17:47:45
Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

So listen to what

‘‘I’m’’etching to

‘‘you’’ now.
She ( – loined, strangely

enough, no inverted

commas): ‘‘I see
you’ve a concert with

Radio Lilliput. Next

winter. Great!’’
piped up: ‘‘I’ll enjoy.
Good! It happened.
Good. Does it, ‘‘I’’
wonder still, make ‘‘my ’’
‘‘Cantata de Vacuo Nero
for Solo Violin
and Radio Choir’’ better or

She’d long wanted to
etch these hieroglyphs:
‘‘was’’ and
(That last time
it made not a difference;
my ‘‘my’’ querulous
and ‘‘our’’ loins, etch
this, apparent.)

She who’ll be correcting
this, ‘‘my’’ shifty chance
for ‘‘me’’ to be
writing ‘‘me’’ free, will,
take your rat–poison, not
waste an etched instant
on the Inverted Commas
Factor. So listen.

I am, after all, he who
writes: ‘‘this’’
= ‘‘he’’ .

So listen: who’s this
‘‘he’’ who writes:
=‘‘he ’’or who’s the
he who sculpts ‘‘= ’’,
and so wearily on
forth till at least at this
end of ‘‘our ’’ Crazy
Loop a summery ‘‘he’’
wrestles free of ‘‘his’’
worrying reflexivity,
near the summer’s loony

So listen: give it a chance,
will ‘‘I ’’? (Who?)
Meant is: ‘‘My lovely
inverted commas’’. Yes,
‘‘they’’ ( – see? And
there ‘‘we’’ go again…)
do all sculpt, all etch, all
define ‘‘my ’’
‘‘me’’, i.e.
this little class of one, so
small a miracle, oh so
temporal and ah
so near the void, ‘‘my’’
airy melody, the nea for
my very ‘‘self’’, for
‘‘my ’’close shave.

So listen, so hone, so
handle it as a piece of
sports-results, as “you”
would a stock-exchange
item. Listen, there will
be one or two obituaries
– The Observer still has a
bit of seriousness…
” It ” is sad, yes. Death
“is” sad. Very, “our”
glowering, crouching
friend, Mrs. Nothing.
( – don�t be surprised if
someone�s favourite
philosopher wrote :
” Das Nichts nichtet ” …

But in the kitchen Frau
Heidegger went on with
“her” washing-up. At
that hour when all good
wolves yet sleep. )

Dear Aleph, Dear -Very Dear Omega,

In einer eMail vom 03.07.2006 08:57:45
Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

There was a man in it a long time ago. Eternally hipless, he hymned:

‘‘You always that lazy, Eheye Asher Eheye, never an e-peep from That quarter.
Job’s cousinly ‘‘WHY?’’ did try a long time before this my Evening Hymn
To Thee, High Shamelessness. Thou at least shalt give a high, shameless
indication as to whether I might try again, say tomorrow? Job willed, I
intend, You cower, cosmic still. Begob, this is a great game that I am at!’’

The fork (lightning) ran down the livid hay-fork he’d been shouldering all
the sultry evening, burrowed down his (now well-roasted) fork, into the
patch of hay-field they’d show us kids ever after. I know. I was there.
Suppose, just supposing I was that forked. For instance, approach by
stealth, my clever little maneen, round-aboutness.

That man hymned again: ‘‘Well, there was this man in the hay-field once,
a long time before he came again to write: ‘‘Eternally Hipless Peeper,
silent, surly Eheye Asher, all that. Behold my Second Job’s Evening-Hymn To His
Heavenly Wink.Hubbell’s stars may sing tetratonically that all’s well, well
eternally in their empyrean, high in their high sky. Well, is it?’’

Neither seal-mothers around Skellig Rock nor any rescuing helicopter held
that or any clue to ‘‘Why me?’’ Nor fish nor flesh nor high spume from the
mystery of the eternal rocks below, not even our own mothers’d have any sane
person’s reason to break the cosmic stillness of that one fine day’s haying to
reveal this third, bent text from that man in that field with his hay-fork:

‘‘There was a man in a hay-field, right up there, see. A long time in his
past that was in it. And forked lightening bisected his hay-fork, split his
brain, his very own fork. Happened mighty fast, the poor lips were burned
awful. Visionary years later, long retired from hay-making, he took to
hymn-writing. Here, I think, is one of his best-known Loved Burned Tunes:
‘Eheye Asher Eheye/ What shalI I get?/ Fast runs my tide/ Even
before I’ve died./ Before I ’ve even done/ Slows now my sun./ The son
He’d fried,/ His life to him denied./ Who shall tingle-tangle?/ Who
decode Heaven’s jangle?/ Untangle skein, then web?/ Make whole my
lissom dead?’’’

The fork of lightning was livid. Bisecting, it fulminated down the wet
rubber-boots, leaving a persuasive, holy stink. That’s all. ‘‘Begob,’’ joked
our cooked hymn-writer, ‘‘This Great Game. Where’s me mouse? Get me me lap-top! Quick!’’

Twilight and his strength fading after that epiphantic, hierophantic,
theophonic, theoontic fork-or-be-forked, our hymnster was not stopped,
neither was he mocked:

‘‘ Abide with me. Fast fork Your evening might/
Rubber-boots, save me! – Saved my spirits light/
When other helps, my comforters flee/
Help of the helpless, abide with me!

Swift to my close ebbs out this little tide/
Hay-fields grow dim when all around have died./
Change, more change, in all the forks I see/
Through clouded sunshine, abide with me!

I tried my fork; its glorie passed away./
Who like Thyself will fulminate, yet stay?/
Who triumphs still, who’ll rob my grave’s sting?/
What’s then Your pay-off? Which oboulos bring?

I’ll fear no foe with Thee at hand to sing./
What grave victory? Which hands to wring?
Tears, have no weight! my fork, no bitterness!/
I’ll worry through, my Thee to bless?’’

The third lightening hit him. Black. No hiss, rubber-oots or smell, forked
forker, not a whimper from a dark sky, all the rookeries quiet,
dumbfounded. Annihilated his values, burned to a frazzle his mind’s pineal effusions,
his hymn-writer’s thrust and push up into the all-quiet-now-again empyrean. In
that nano-second as the compressed millions of volts travelled down the left
side of the head, through the seeing, yearning, now sizzling ear, down
the left shoulder-blade like a Viking blade, further down through the puddings
and cleft left haunch and cleft left foot in the now cleft rubber-boot, the
man in the field was given a last chance to dream one last dream, his last
Burned Hymn. Here is his (now burned) first prose draft: ” I’d tried out
flying and looping that magical first semester – I’d put the body out
horizontal with the others, nose in front, arms flat by your side to minimize all
air-resistance, soutanes floating behind us in the tail-stream, go whoosh at
high speeds. The quick brandy-quaffing Bretagne night, often we’d a
sherry-evening down in further Gijon, then jet quick back against prevailing winds
before the Dean of Discipline’d dreamed his first dream. Heavenly!
Heavens! The speed of the thing! Air-borne was air-born again! Body rigid as a
flying-board high above all earthly woes! Secret, of course. To be caught was
to be burned. Near shaves, a few. Plenty of time to craft and scheme and try
out a rhythm before landing-time. Composed a few strong, cold ionospheric
paeans! Before his life now burned down to a cinder, the rubber-boots too,
he’d thought of a last wordy temple, a syllables- sculpture:

‘‘Abide with me./ Fast burns my living coal./ Soon burnt
-out/ My living soul./ My tongue blackened/ Very speed slackened/ The
poor ICH shattered,/ My hymns battered./

Swift to my close/ Forms now my ash./
My putógaí/ How now lash/ Can clout me/
Shall touch,/ Re-touch./
Burn,/ Re-burn my lips./ O Thou who forks,/ Where’s now my hips?/ I
jetted on high./ That flight was true,/ Hard, selfless, other,/ Perhaps
seeking You./ I feel nothing now,/ My flesh its pyre./ No more I’ll
try/ high, even higher/ To fuse vermilion/ And hymns, a million/ Times
more sheer/ Crafted dear,/ Penned in the sky,/ My pie that didn’t die.
/ O Heaven’s tangle!/ Who’ll decode this jangle?/ My lonely triangle?/
Every celestial angle?/ The million volts did/ incinerate my Id,/ My
mind’s tones./ My yearning moans/ Whiffed this burn,/ Charred self,
Turn/ This lightening off./ My hymning off./ Switch down my ecstatic!/
My energy erratic!/ These million sparks I see,/ Where’s they or Thee?/
Abide with me./ Fast fused thes embers’spark/ With cosmic stillness,/
In cosmic dark,/ O Your heat-death,/ My cataclysmic fall,/ O Alphic You,
/ Accept my sawl!’’

A few phota wandering around the black heath. That was all.

New CD and Broadcasts

July 2
R.A.I. Tre Cultura (Rome). live interview with Frank Corcoran on his new CD, ‘‘Quasi Una Musica’’ and broadcasts: ‘‘Quasi Una Visione’’ (Ensemble Modern / Sian Edwards)
‘‘Quasi 9 Aspects of an Irish Poem’’ (National Chamber Choir / Celso Antunes, with Catherine Leonard, Violin ).

New Anew

In einer eMail vom 16.06.2006 14:33:19
Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

Whose used–up yarn is this spinning? The voyeur is always in me? Which
looking–glass declares an interest? Whence all these e–entrails I see,
trailed around the mulberry–bush?
Evening–questions seldom going away, let my fine fingers sing it:

Take Euclidian parallels. Take: ‘‘Can music ever be completely
programme–free?’’ Now if your answer is ‘‘Yes’’, why can’t we make a case also for the
occasional, programme–free Musing? This here is one such: perhaps in the
whole flaming firmament, this e–mail might be only the second known case of
an Uncaused Cause (lower case, please). E–scutter floweth as it will,
meandering magma loitering, causing at least a civilized smile.

It’s not actually enough to fob off Our Great E–typing Author with
‘‘uncaused causation’’ or with
‘‘let–it–flow–if–or–where–it–magmatically will’’
either. Bad enough to be caught anywhere near this theory of
‘‘any possible programme’’ (– eg. Our Muser–Author’s ounds, the scrofulous breakfast, gene
versus Jane versus Holy Joe in early boyhood).

Much worse, oh woe, not to expect anything from an e–mail, no effect,
none. Nothing. If idle is as idle strives to be, if (as here) it be
meta–musing on and on how to see behind its own very behind, then, there, be the
art of comedy chided.

This e–centred, this I–centred e–thrust, swallowed up in victory, all very
well that ; – by the way, who’ll fork out the cheque–book when the
celestial nuptials for ‘‘I’’ and for ‘‘Me’’ draw nigh, this very night and all, oh my ‘‘Musing’’, my very sawl?

What be e–writing at all, mused or fused tohuwabohu?
Then suffices no ‘‘It’s only snorting self–expression’’.
As is the humble courtier’s microtonally tuned fart. And the humbler’s
(eaten well prior) white–beans for lunch after the early morning’s quartering
up at Hangman’s Square, a mere finch in the turnip–pie, causing this (then
this in its turn, then, further causes) uncaused exhuding, this very
I wasn’t it. He there. Master Magma himself, careful, boy.

Not every musing could keep up concealing the awkward given of the
e–mail reflexive, the e–mail at play, the e–mail confessional, Gödel’s E–mail,
the e–cry or the e–caoine, e–haiku and e–mourn. They’re on the prowl, our
dear anti – ‘‘Musing’’ police. Have to be. You couldn’t allow total e–licence to the e–plebs.

O Inner circle, sneak closer. Either a ‘‘Musing ’’ amuses or, in its musing, it bemuses. Either it’s an Uncaused Cause (– but ‘‘LOWER CASE, PLEASE’’)
or is eén now causing wryness, a dry throat, reach for red pencil, sure the
man’s mad as a muser? Exhausted WHO is emailing exhaustive whom the following
text: ‘‘This e–message is in love with itself’’?

What makes our homo e–scribens so different, we left the wall–paintings and
Sumerian crúisgín l´n behind a long time ago? Out with it, your cheap
attacks on e–courage! Beat intransivity, slash the e–knot of reflexiveness!
Quod scripsi non really scripsi, true or Gödel–true? Could it be that,
e–quill and e–ink put tranquilly aside, we never, never, never love
unselfishly? Who said you can’t be e–mailing ‘‘In Paradisum’’? Is Paradise my mode of
existence while I mutate into my own e–mail? All changed, changed utterly, I
now am subsumed in what I´ve written. I have become this e–text. Scared?
Naw… My actual existence is also virtuality. What is behind my behind,
then? How’ll I have a look?


June 26
In : Musikhochschule Hamburg, 20.00,
das Hamburger Percussions-Ensemble:
for 4 Percussion
(-1995 commission of Hamburg Culture Minister
on the occasion of 50 years Auschwitz Liberation).