Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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).

Gödel – Google Theorem 13 B

In einer eMail vom 02.06.2006 01:05:48
Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

Suppose I did not have to lie to my e–self. Artful enough, mind you, was
the (actually modest yet, still – it was early – fairly humble, she’d see
it, any fair–minded) plan:
I’m going to disprove once and for all my–and–your, I am merely and
gently surmizing – more NO ! ! ! – Gödel–Google Theorem 13 B.

Namely: your e–mail, any e–mail, EVERY e–mail, is always, will
always – it HAS to be always, a very e–mail out for self–service, an, you
may suppose e–extension of e–time–serving; of herself – serving
instrumentality. I must, self–deceit awake me how I might, see how this very
e–act here is self–intentional, how it is not thus once, nor might it be
only sometimes, it is so, ex natura). Nunc e–mail; e–see my, il nostro
desperate self–referential. ‘‘Mrs. Google–Gödel, indecently fast,
ringing through tonight : ’’ I am; pleading with you. My darling. Don’t, do
NOT this way take away my last vestiges of even my e–faith!
‘‘Virtual me, meself, reluctant:’’ Faith but there’s no way but this e–killing of my e–myself, too, kiss! Yerra! Once a female, how–are–you,
always eternally e–feminine, oh e–cliché; surely, you must know?
‘‘You must, but not only you must, grant me a poor e–woman, at least
this, here is your cosmos–defining e–mail ludens, your very e–mail

‘‘I mean ( – oh my Frau Gödel–Google, perfumed self–interest,
self–unknowing through thy silk, who’ll sew thy brocade, my e–insights into the
mind of WHICH e–man, e–woman) that you –at least once – believe you were e–mailing truth non–instrumental, e–mailing the enlargement of, say,
game–theory, and thus e–mailing our (– her imperceptible hip–twitch nearly threw me here)
‘charge–ím–on– towards the truth that does not profit,
neither fades nor grows it dark brown, doth it?’ ’’

‘‘Not now! Not here! People’ll see us! God wot!’’

She’s melting my he: ‘‘Shush! Slumber! All manner of things.’’

My Mrs. G. – G., it behoves art to watch its impertinence!

‘‘Meaning just which twitch of which of my hips?…’’

‘‘All e–mails were ever self–deceiving. No e–mail has ever yet escaped
the total gravitational pull of me. – Many being e–posted, yet do not, can
not arrive.’’

(Now was my flush weakening, it was her epiphany total, her being more
than just any one of their very e–mailable e–shifts, or eén airy a one
e–swish, a daily e–huff, a concept of an e– crossing of their
more–than–ever–conceivable–lovely–e–legs) Know what she said?

‘‘You did. Many e–mails. Many e–mails ago. Try again, my e–buckoo! Eejit
lovely! Aim Once Above And Outside Your Gravitational Great Gödel–Bucket! Listen. Lisp it me: ‘‘E–mail, e–mail, e–mail mein / E–mail auf
der Heide!’’

‘‘Receive one last e–mail, oh my she–hip–shifter, Du my e–mind–bender.’’

Thus. I believe that there was at least once in the entire e–history of
our virtual world, sorry or glorious depending on your e–view, an e–mail
sent (– ever received is a different thing) that intended towards truth,
truth that was not just a ‘‘how’ll I survive truth’’, nor a
‘‘what use is it if does not’’ etc. truth, nor a
‘‘how’ll I soften her hip, excite her down
the alley?’’ truth, nor a great
‘‘this is the ultimate in letting–the–sow–out–to–graze’’ truth.
No. The once only is all I am pleading for. One only
‘‘this truth is independent of whether you like, you receive, we profit by,
praise or scold, celebrate as being true, publish or destroy it.’’ I had her
now. Yet her hip–flick– back walloped me:
‘‘ Your e–mail is of the form : ” I believe that… ’’

‘‘What of it and of me and us?’’

‘‘I’ll tell you’’, she was never more desirable,
yours is the e–mail
self–reflexive, intransitive but transitory, self–prophecying, the worst type!
So because it must be. Postulation masquerading as expostulation.
E–persuasion as old as the Sophists. Look you: your thought aspired to ‘‘There is an
e–mail such that this e–mail belongs to Class XYZ etc.’’ ‘‘Supposing, only
supposing (– you like my hip, no?) this might – standing on its own cosmic
hips somewhere in space–time – possess a smathán of transcendental truth (– that is what your me–fondling self is getting at, isn’t it?), yet you
E–MAILED it through to me! – You blew it!’’

’Twas then I swore I’d never, never use this e–avenue again.

She wasn’t finished. With her own hips. ‘‘Want that I rape my very
self? Naw, naw. What your Irish shame busily obfuscates daily : so, every
time you think you´re sending a self–less e–mail, you are actually, hips or
nothing ever to stand between our , e–mailing selfishly. Always. Has always
to be. –Gotcha, quasi epistemologically?’’ I minced not:

Not actually, nor was I even a shade virtually. If my Corcoran’s ( –
actually Kant’s) Transcendental Theory – take : if X is true / beautiful
etc., then it is true / beautiful ( – oh, oh, divine hips divine, etc.,
etc.) irrespective of whether etc. and etc. See Appendix Tomorrow And

BUT NOW, lovely all–hips woman: here comes my Anti–Hips Defence: watch,
feel, set yourself careful, hips: Now if Z Y X is true (– see, my
beloved hips, above…) it is true ALSO WHEN, DURING, IF I EVER e–mail it
to Anyone. And, of course, if I do not.
Her lovely limbs I’d reduced to weeping. Behold, yet, her delectable
‘‘Franyou, You, Fran, my e–lover, I’d thought you’d disproved for the
boring world of meta–matho–physicians that my (not so recently deceased)
very late mate’s Google–Gödel Theorem 13 B. is no more. No. Would it were.
Thus. Anent your e–logic.’’

I did try to whisper (I, e–author and e–father and e–mother, was all
over the e–place, now in tears. For my child’s child, etc.). Still.
Exorably. Solvitur ambulando. Or e–ambulando. It was, between her hips,
certainly, neither cavil nor conundrum, I made my last e–spake. Text
complicated. I extricated my own hips.

‘‘I do hereby e–mail that: though I am now publishing/propagating/
e–sweating and e–spreading my Corcoran Thesis ABC via this finger’s electric
mischief, yet I do hereby swear (– by the divine hips of etc.) that – a
truth–proposition MUST BE ALWAYS independent of the mode of its patrician
progress and propagatio – in this year A.D. 2006 it is still possible – I Dunne It
– to e–utter an e– belief, an e–whinney.’’

She closed her hips lovely abruptly. Had me in tighter hip–squeeze : ‘‘By the VERY fact that you e–mailed your for you beloved ( – creepy? Let, heigh, history…) Credo – JMNOP ‘‘now threateningly
tight, they:’’
by definition you’re befaughed, mio grande ( – and listen to me, not to
your cheap Jobites!) amore. YOU E–MAILED aplusbplusc… Irrespective of
all merits internal of aplusbplusc, your e–mailing bunkerblasted its

I was very angry now. She lovely, dangerously intelligent hips, the very
worst combo. I bleated as never before :

‘‘My hips got yours! NOT proven! Yours – and Mr. G. – G.s, recently
croaked, heigh–ho, his young widow’s hips your Syllabus Of Lovely Errors:
EVEN IF A is TRUE ( – especially, his quiet grave encourageth me; to you,
too, I grant, it’s got very nearly nightly, my quiescent hips), it is
TRUE NO LONGER when e–mailed.’’

‘‘Why ever not? Granted Statement ABC is okay, it MUST surely remain
hilariously okay, whether I e–mail it or send it between your etc, thighs, or
silence it or intentionally internalize it. For ever and ever true.’’
Dead my screen. Her, my darling’s hips’ aisling, went dead.

Mozart’s G – Minor STRING–QUINTET.
X–Ray for Washed–Yet–Yearning Ear

In einer eMail vom 26.05.2006 17:42:08 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

Things musical in Salzburg this Mozart Anniversary Year are pretty
disgusting; commerce and cliché go hand in hand discussing Mozart and Women or
Mozart and Syphilis, Mozart and Chocolate Balls etc. Vienna, too, has dug up
every four–bars that stiff–wigged little Biedermeier four–years old
child–prodigy ever scribbled on music–manuscript of any kind. Awful! Even that North
African who won the Vienna Marathon recently, the Moroccan Mohammed what–not,
claimed he crossed the pain–threshold to jog to victory with only Mozart
piano–concertoes in his head–phones.

I took a long time to sidle up to Mozart. For years I was too young to
penetrate behind the brittle surface of many a sonata of his. But I did take
young to the last symphonies, particularly the plangent G – Minor, and to his
unfinished Requiem, I suppose, to the torment which peeps out occasionally
behind the beautiful sheen that seems to say ‘‘Don’t ever dare you try to get
behind my brittle surface!’’

Well, I will dare this X–ray analysis of Mozart’s G – Minor – Quintet. I’m
going to go behind the surface patter and the throb and pull on your
heart–strings. I’ll attempt to break the music down not through words or technical
jargon but with the help of the music itself. In a minute I´ll explain what
I’m up to.

‘‘The trouble with Mozart’’ is the title of a book no one has yet written;
how would it go down, I wonder, in Salzburg with all those Mozart–Kugeln and
Mozart–Kaiserschmarren and Mozart–biros and –puppets and – underwear? This
book would have to describe all the 250 years of composer–hagiography and
pious cant and sugery castration which Austrians and non–Austrians alike have
been inflicting on the ‘‘Oh, he died young’’ immortality of our Wolfgang

What has always revolted me were the abounding
self–contradictions in this historical concoction of legend and reality that we’ll never fully now be able to clean up: like, for instance – what was the wild and
furious cover–up that was done to his apartment, his corpse, the
medicine–bottles, the doctors and undertakers and suspicious funeral–arrangements on that
stormy November night he died in 1791? His wife, Costanze, outlived
Wolfgang by years, well–married to Nissen. She kept tight–lipped
till she died. His only sister, Nannerl, was very close to him as a child,
inseparable, you’d say, on all those big European tours they took from
crowned court to Ducal palace in the 1760s Yet, when she was burying their
father in Salzburg in 1787, he never came back to visit the grave; and Nannerl,
too, kept tight–lipped about her younger brother till the day she died.

Even Mozart’s G–Minor String–quintet was from early on surrounded by legend.
In the 19th c. it was THE Mozart Quintet, the most often performed of all.
There were always stories and stories about ‘‘depression, deepest melancholy,
this is a prayer of tragic loneliness’’ and so on. Behind the tones was
‘‘the Garden of Gethsemane; he must empty this chalice while his apostles
sleep’’ kind–of–thing. Well, maybe.

The fact is: Mozart interrupted work on ‘‘Don Giovanni’’ in the Spring of 1787. The father was still alive. They desperately needed cash. He decided to
write two quintets, our G–Minor and what I’ll call the ‘‘great’’ C–Major
quintet for 2 violins and cello and the dark, chalumeau colour of two violas,
then offer them on spec to a publisher, any publisher, to help the family’s
rapidly worsening finances. They had to get out of the city centre apartment, into a cheaper suburban flat in the Viennese Vorstadt, Landstrasse Nr.
224. Fourteen days after Mozart finished the G–Minor that I will attempt to
X–ray with less words than musical tools, his father died in (– in those
days, still pretty distant) Salzburg. Mozart did not bury him but his pet
starling that had also given up the ghost. He composed his ‘‘Musical Joke’’
(K.522). But for whom? To whom or what does it refer?
I will never know. Better not surround the four movements of the G–Minor
quintet with yet more speculation. I want to listen to the actual music:

MUSIC : G–Minor Quintet. 1

What is the musical substance of this pulsing first movement? And here I’d
better warn myself, I’m not going to use any technical terms like ‘‘second
subject,’’ ‘‘the retrograde inversion modulates to the key of the
sub–mediant’’ or such clap–trap…

Let me take a tiny bit out of the middle of this first movement.

Bar 167 – 184

Now Mozart’s opening bars of the G–Minor: Bar 1 – 29.

He lets it flow: Bar 29 – 48.

In 1788, just one year later, Mozart was to compose that great mystery, the
G–Minor Symphony ( – again here, for whom is shrouded in mystery…).
Here’s how the last movement opens:

SYMPHONY Nr. 40. IV. Opening.

Flash–back to our G–Minor Quintet. Out of the opening movement again. Here
the two low violas, delicious colouring!

Bars 140 – 151.

I’ll flash forward to Mozart’s opening of the G–Minor Symphony in 1788:

Bars 1 – 16. Mov. 1, G–Minor Symph.

Could this be the same woeful chromatic line? In our quintet? Take this :

Quintet 1. Bars 76 – 84.

But the g–minor symphony’s second subject ( – OOOPS! There I let it slip
out – okay, call it ‘‘second theme.’’ Okay?) is somehow strangely similar :

SYMPH. 40. 1. Bars 41 – 51.

Mozart in 1787 was 31. He knew of his own worth. He was accepted as one of
the leading European masters. In far–off Bonn, young Ludwig van Beethoven’s
music teacher had let slip that ‘‘he would certainly become another Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart if he continued as he had begun… ’’ Nearly a hundred years
later another Viennese master was to call Mozart ‘‘the greatest disaster
that can happen to another composer…’’ Young Debussy went one further and
said it was a pity he wasn’t French, because he’d be worth imitating.

Okay, back to the pathos of the G–Minor String Quintet KV 516 and my
musical X–ray now of its Menuet second movement. This is hardly dance–music by any
stretch of the imagination. Its jolliness is torment. Here’s how it starts.
First I’ll slice off the opening bar. We get:

MENUETT 2 – 10.

Hmmmm I heard that falling, chromatic music in the first movement

Mov. 1. Bar. 122 – 133.

Now I’ll bring the Minuet opening again, this time with that opening idea
I’d sliced off:

Menuett: Bar 1 – 13.

Just a minute! We heard the second theme of the G–Minor Symphony opening a
moment ago!

Symph. 40. 1. Bars 41– 51.

Our quintet–exposition had a solo for the first violin somewhere that
brings these bits and smithereens all together. For me, at least!

Quintet 1. 78– 88.

Am I right? Here’s Mozart’s full Minuet Mov. now!

Menuett – Mov. all.

Mozart’s ADAGIO Slow Movement we tend to hear as the apotheosis of sadness;
the 5 muted strings sing their muted hymn to Who? What? The Viennese,
ever since Eduard Hanslick declared music is ‘‘powerless to express anything
at all!’’ have been thinking out loud about this. They didn’t get far.


Now what was that falling figure of that Minuet again, I wonder?

MENUETT. Bar. 1 – 2.

And now Mozart’s second ADAGIO with that deep pizzicato bass:

ADAGIO. Bars. 1 – 29.

Last flash–back to the Minuet:

Menuett. Bars. 1 – 4.

Or, to think of it, the closing music of the opening movement. It went:

Mov. 1. Bars. 239 – 253. i.e. without those last 2 chords!

Mozart advertised his two string–quintets in the Viennese ‘‘Algemeine
Musikzeitung.’’ There were no
takers. Nobody wanted to buy his new compositions. He slid deeper into
financial misery. Here’s the violin solo at the end of his ADAGIO which lead
you on to the last movement. After his death, but it was too late…,
they played his chamber–music masterpiece alright. But some people muttered
that this first violin bridge–music from his ADAGIO to his Finale was just a
little bit light–weight:

ADAGIO Bars. 26, say, – 38.

Let me X–ray these few violin notes again:

Bars. 33 – 35.

But this is just that mighty falling hymn of the first ADAGIO we’ve heard!


Here’s another biteen of that violin solo – it is, of course, a rhythmic
variant of so much falling music in the first movement – I’ll juxtapose two
bits and let you hear:

Bars. 35 – 37 ADAGIO then straight into 1. Bars. 31 – 39.

At last Mozart’s final movement jig–rhythm as a kind of relax after the
tourning and wailing:

Mov. 4. Bars. 1 – 21.

Is this jig–rhythm all that trivial? No. Behind the brilliance a Mozart
always poured into his final movements, there’s that very same falling figure
that our thinking ears have come across in every movement up till now!

Bars. 43 – 96.

Get it? – That falling idea, this quintet’s finger–print?

Bars. 80 – 88.

Does your washed ear follow me? How about the last sigh of his first
movement. Last time:

Mov. 1. Bars. 242 – 248.

How is he, I wonder, going to find the right ending for such a mighty
monument to what?

Bars. 267 – End.

I’ll give a last injection of that G–Minor Symphony 2nd theme you heard

SYMPH. 1. Bars. 71 – 85 ( NB – OR LAST MOV.????)

Last ear–thoughts. Last eerie thoughts… Last questions: How’ll I connect
up that Jig–music:

Mov. 4. Bars. 21 – 24

with the sublime, slow hymn for 5 muted strings:

Mov. 2. Bars. 1 –2.

and then with that other sighing Adagio that many people call a Cavatina,
as if the first violin were a great diva in a sorrowful operatic scene:

ADAGIO : Bars. 1 – 6.

I won’t tell you the answer. Your ears will…

Mov. 4. 21 – 29.

Neither cower nor act the scutter

In einer eMail vom 23.05.2006 08:03:28 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

Neither cower nor act the scutter; here I number it as anti-dramatically
as it snuck in this dawn, my 62nd year to Heaven now being ended. See all
receding reflections in yer winking bubbles below.

What’s up so, for the 63rd? I to enjoy enjoying? (How this? Live
in these not uneasy bubbles? ‘‘To care and not to care’’? The present / absent glass half-full, yet half of its potential perhaps still waiting in
kindly if not fully supine fashion where blows no English Horn. Huh?)

Have I any right to hawl in Cousin Job by the withers? Yes. Full. Behoves
it? Not this sweet evening, no. Why not Holy Job? Brings not ary a
tinkle on the Hot Line. (He shivereth. Fling his blanket oér a good man. Quick

New tack: apparently winking bubbles on my wind-blown scutter, are okay.
Spawn is grand, too. Take spume, combine with Spumanti in our forthcoming
summer months of Lazio heat and, later, the pop around the September piazza
of a perhaps very cold Winter?

‘‘Apparently little Savonarolish gestures have to be gone, Monday next.
Apparently, ‘‘Ask not what my 63rd year can do for Me And The Fall. ’’
Apparently ‘‘Darkness is for us all / Inevitable ; whereas / Light is not.’’.

Can I do as The Moonish, Stylish Bard of Dalkey, of Paris, of Berlin and
Godot – ipperary did, he who struck his (yes, heroic) poses, typewiting
spume on flecked foam, for us , for his humbleydumbly younger fellows, he
by now the first-born of them that sleep. My 63rd foamy shot at
lovely Autumn’s cherry and vine will in ways, I am certain in this night,
undreamed of, paint dark and bright sloshs down my firmament. Gripe not, grab
hardly at all? Gently I’ll begin to gouge, etch or scratch .
I will. I do feel it now, my active exploration of ‘‘Spume spawns.’’

Don’t despise 63rd. chances or baubles and winking bubbles. Fear no more the
heat or even the withdrawal o’ the sun, its slosh or slew or its hot lep,
because ‘‘Stop this film, I want to crawl out’’ is, we well know, not an option. My CD is being burned. I see the green-white dial measure all my
virtual seconds. E-write this quick on online smoke: Don’t barter Bartók;
don’t banter with any man. No brass when spray will do. The content is the
message, the portent, rhythmed and rhymed, the formed form, the will to
form, the formed expression etched onto virtually anything. ( – See what I
mean? Green on white, that little long electronic dial panting at its task ? )

Keep the faith. Don’t drop the ball. And when we fall, sweet CD – Burner .
Oh touch our hearts, speeding green virtual line. Fresh milk not sour. Tarry not; and
don’t let the fire out, the kettle, my burnt CD newly formed.


In einer eMail vom 09.04.2006 16:33:59 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

after Beckett’s line in ‘‘GODOT’’:
“The light gleams an instant”

Tiocfaidh ár lá, yes, do try to hang on to this always, but especially in
the fight for The Faith against all tonight’s Benedictine blandishments.
They, I was there, tunnelled upwards from Norcia’s grand Lower Chapel,
painting their genitalless Gesù at the third curve of the tufa in (their)
eighth century. All is not lost. Lab – ora!

So therefore: Light = Dante’s ‘‘Prime Mover’’

(-Beckett’s, too, as
it so happened).

It gleams. My violin, bass-clarinet and cello must paint that ‘‘gleeeeeee’’
in full flight and its full-mouth stop.

Genuflecting as profoundly as a Luciferian will ever now, can ever click
the knee-muscle’s innate need to worship. – Now hang on! – WHY? Why
worship? WHICH super-knee’s what’s behind much Dantesque dishonesty, trickery,
archery? Precisely Whose knee? You may laugh. It is forbidden.

What cuts off its gleaming? After, after all, one instant? We
supposed it’s His Prime Mover, – okay? Now watch, ye Benedictines! – Either:
1. its ‘‘gleaming’’ (still gleaming …. ?) is cut off after it has gleamed a full instant, remember; – but by WHOM, pray?

– or: 2. Supposing the light supposes it is worth
only supposing that it gleameth for a mere nothing, a nano -nothing ,
God’s mosquito-inspiring ‘‘instant’’? This our light therefore decides to
cease now its gleaming, mother? Whist would you stop all your gleamin’? –
A kind of Old Hebrew – Irish, you guess: ‘‘I gleam that which I shall

MAGYAR RADIO/Radio Bartók Concert of May 17 2006

(Frank Corcoran’s QUASI UN BASSO for Solo Bass is performed on May 17 2006 in Magyar Radio/Radio Bartók’s Bela Bartók Centenary Concert in Budapest)

In einer eMail vom 05.04.2006 09:45:02 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

Is cumadóir ceoil mé. I am an Irish composer. The pre-industrial, rural
Ireland of my childhood in the fifties was, in a way, not unlike the small,
agricultural Hungary of Bartók’s
youth and maturity. Dublin and Budapest were, for all their artistic
short-comings, vitally important cultural metropoles. (- For Hungarian and Irish
music-lovers they still are.) Small nations both, their surrounding
neighbours often seemed culturally omnivorous, omnipotent posing a real threat
that the identity and self-respect of both little emerging States would be
gobbled up by an all greedy neighbour.

Bartók ploughed the lonely furrow. Bartók said “NO!” to cultural
tyranny. Bartók took his stance. Moral. Artistic. Not that he wanted to marry
folk- and art-music; you can’t. But as a folk-collector and as a 20th c.
composer, forging and finding his individual composer’s voice, he refused to
let lazy indifference stifle musical diversity or musical courage. Courage –
that’s it. He discovered the unknown, hidden jewels of folk-art. He
composed his own mighty musical structures. Behind both of these, yes, heroic
stances was Bartók’s refusal to give in.

My own little Ireland in my 20th c. has gone an in many ways similar path.
With very mixed results. My Irish language dies daily a thousand deaths.
Ireland, too, had a Renaissance, an explosion of Irish traditional music which
however by its very over-kill and over-exposure in the media is endangered.
As a composer in Ireland, an Irish composer, I had to plough my lonely
furrow. In my native Tipperary I had to overcome a still mightily hostile
indifference to the oldest layers of Irish singing and instrumental art. In my own
youthful struggle to compose and construct tonal structures at once private
and public, the enemy number one was Dublin’s very clearly post-colonial
dependence on a second-rate, hand-me-down, London-based music-pedagogy. Even
bits of Bartók were misused in our musical curricula, his work contextlessly, lovelessly paraded without any real understanding of where Bartók was
coming from, but shamelessly paraded as ‘‘our’’ apologia for contemporary music, as ‘‘our’’ bulwark against, say, the horrors of the Second Viennese School. And my little Ireland , politically a ‘‘free ’’Republic, had in its early days of liberation psychologically and politically not succeeded in providing
a climate of musical understanding and the respect for musical creativity
necessary to have, in its critical years, an Irish Bartók, Bartók na h –

My ‘‘Quasi Un Basso’’ for solo bass is my diptych for, as Bartók uses it, a mighty orchestra in a solo instrument. (I am thinking of those – now sadly ubiquitous but then so fresh, so shocking Bartók pizz.s from his basses in
the orchestral works like his ‘‘Divertimento’’ for String Orchestra, the
extraordinary long legato lines near the end of his ‘‘Music For String Orchestra, Percussion and Celesta’’, the daring and brilliance of his orchestral imagination.) Mine are two fragmented pictures from my vanished Ireland.

Art-music today faces the most viciously anti-art global market known to
man. We have no place where wares are bartered. But YOU CANNOT BARTER BARTÓK!
– Nor indeed any music of lasting value. It is questionable whether the
folk-musics of either Hungary or Ireland will survive the market’s kiss of
death. It is doubly questionable whether Hungarian and Irish composers will
survive our global village which today is swollen with the greatest ocean of
sonic rubbish known to man. Have we composers a place to be heard?
Where’s the silence? From which music is born and heard?

‘‘The light gleams an instant’’

(See my Beyond Beckett 2006 Beckett Centenial Commission for the National
Gallery’s Centennial Concert, April 23, 2006, 12.30 to 17.30)

In einer eMail vom 03.04.2006 16:35:38 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

Tiocfaidh ár lá, yes, do hang on to this, especially in the Fight For The
Faith against all of tonight’s Benedictine blandishments. They tunnelled, I
was there, upwards from Norcia’s Lower Chapel, painting a genitalless
Gesù at the third turn of the tufa screw in their curved eighth century. Lab.
Ora. All not lost.

Light = Dante’s ‘‘Prime Mover’’?

It gleams, violin and bassclarinet and cello paint ‘‘gleeeee’’ in its full flight, its gob then stopped with my ‘‘mmmmms’’.

A Lucifer genuflecting, suppose with me, clicks a knee’s innate need to
worship, but, hould:
What then did cut off the Light’s gleaming? After its nano-second? After
its decent (- but please, define. Two hundred words.) ‘‘I gleam,
therefore I am and I definitely do have value’’?

It doesn’t matter now.

Will it? Happen to me in my sun-crazed head’s babbling fluids? – As I am
bending to whet which servant-girl’s heel-dinge? Or what impaled serpe,
perfectly harmless, milkless, no laughing lunge, will topple my guilt at the
drop of Corbianco milk? My robust belief that I’ll knit up the rent sleeve
of down-Milky-Lazio-Way streaming Cristo?

That’ll be Act Three. Let’m come. And they will; I bought hearth and
heart-history with Corbianco cows’ stalls’ shadows (- never a suicide in the best of families) in last winter, comfy by late April, would explore ould eye-balls
by the first week o’July. Act Two was consolidated by buying worms, their
wood. No dinge in sight then. Late love can mature before their impalement,
before my sixty cows’ whinge comes to shove the proprietario, well.

They calve gletchers. Great delight in just what my? We impaled St.
Augustine, we done a Dan Flyin’ Tipperary Breen Ould IRA rub-out (- not enough .
It doth behove) on: Middle Italian Rabbis and South-North Kill-joy and The
Unwashed Armpits Of Dopey Depression.

Sail high; flail; hail my highest and freshly purchased medlars. Ho-ho.

1999 ‘‘komponierte’’

In einer eMail vom 03.03.2006 09:22:02 Westeuropãische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran:

1999 ‘‘komponierte’’ ich mein WDR-Auftragswerk ‘‘QUASI UNA MISSA’’. Ein
Konzept mit ‘‘strenger’’ oder ‘‘weicher’’ Strukturgebung? Wieso ein ‘‘Kunstwerk’’? Mit welchen
‘‘real Presences ’’(George Steiner)? Mit welcher Genealogie
irischen religiösen Ausdrucks ? Welche Opfertheologie lauert da im Werk?
Warum nur ‘‘quasi’’? ‘‘Wieso ist die Kunst eine Möglichkeit, der Welt um das Böse und Chaos zu verzeihen’’ (Leslek Kolakowski)?

‘‘With an open mind the composer of QUASI UNA MISSA uncovers traditional
and concrete images and linguistic material and places this maybe-higher
power in the middle of an Irish stew ’’ ( -Begründung des schwedischen EMS
Preises 2992) – aber ist es wahr?

Ich wollte immer ein Klang-Panorama machen, in dem ich das gewaltige
Rauschen der Gottes-Stimmen aus 2000 Jahren Geschichte meiner irischen Insel
verwenden konnte.