Monthly Archives: October 2011

My heart is not ready to take off


This is my first composition for a string orchestra. I hope you enjoy. Soon I will post this audio with the lyrics!

Autumn Rain


Eleventh month of the year, on the 29th day. Armagh, Ireland. Just another normal day, windy and rainy as hell, gazing at the window, thinking of the lessons to come at the Gate Theater. As the flickering light from the living room lamp dies, I turn to the hope that the sun will come out to help me trough my day. Time slowly dies as I wait for the rain to stop, just to see if I can tread into the wild that is my little town of Dublin. I leapt over the hideous brick red sofa, that old coffee table with last Month “Dublin Arts Now” and opened the front door in frenzy. As I stood at the door, the cold autumn winds embraced my pale skin and hear the rain. Without thinking I grab my bag and run to the theater passing through Thomas Street and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, turned left to the Grattan Bridge. The bridge where I would observe the stripped gold and silver fish that swam as a ballerina in the “Sugar plum fairy”, calling him Billy.

Running until I reach the theater, trying to breathe as the oxygen burned trough my lungs like my first time drinking 50-year-old whiskey with Brad after midterms last year. Gasping for air, Eoin and Brad scare me while asking me: What I did last night? Silently slumping as I tell them that nothing happened, they started talking about their latest conquests. While their conversation turned to what we did last Friday I the tavern I put on my brightest and fakest smile and laughs, quickly turning to my position on the stage as the professor enters the room. As I shove Eion to stop pestering me a waterfall of emotions crash on me, for little did they know that last night I was thrown out after I tried to commit suicide for everything they hate I am…

I’m a huge Coldplay freak… so…


Yesterday their new album launched. It’s titled “Mylo Xyloto. So just to be sane and not freak more than I’ve already freaked out, since it’s such an awesome CD (which I’m not biased if I say you have to buy it/download it…ok maybe I’m a bit biased) YOU HAVE TO! It’s awesome!

Interviews on the Cd:

Singles:

1) Every Teardrop is a Waterfall:

2) Paradise

O Magnum Mysterium- Kevin Memley’s


The power of just one word: Alleluia


E.E. Cummings poetry in Choral Music.


i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
-E.E. Cummings

When Music and Literature intertwine.


When literature intertwines with music, it creates a whole new world that can be a fertile ground in which both musicians and writers strive to experiment. As composers, we look for amazing and out-of-the-ordinary texts. Inspired by this, we can create or bring to life the world that the writer imagined. As choral conductors, we look for poems with outstanding word choice, energy, gaps, and leaps. These poems must evoke emotion(s) in the audience when they read them. After the composer adds music to this poem, and when a choir sings and the choir sings the poem –now song– it will transcend time and space, while reality shatters for a moment.

In this post we are going to see how Eric Whitacre (choral conductor, composer, and arranger) was inspired by Charles Anthony Silvestri’s poetry. This post will only expose the concept of what the philosophy of The Art of Musical Poetry is about. The pieces we are going to explore are: Sleep, Leonardo Dreams of his flying machine and Nox Aurumque.

Here’s an example of when Choral Conductor/Composer/Arranger Eric Whitacre (http://ericwhitacre.com/)makes a poems take flight (Charles Anthony Silvestri’s poetry) by adding music.

The first one we are going to examine is Sleep.

The evening hangs beneath the moon
A silver thread on darkened dune
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon

Upon my pillow, safe in bed,
A thousand pictures fill my head,
I cannot sleep, my minds aflight,
And yet my limbs seem made of lead

If there are noises in the night,
A frightening shadow, flickering light…
Then I surrender unto sleep,
Where clouds of dream give second sight.

What dreams may come, both dark and deep
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep
As I surrender unto sleep.

Charles Anthony Silvestri, 1965-present

For the story behind this piece go to: http://ericwhitacre.com/music-catalog/satb-choral/sleep

Another one is Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine. This choral piece portrays a young Leonardo Da Vinci tormented by his visions of a flying man.

Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine

I.
Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine…

Tormented by visions of flight and falling,
More wondrous and terrible each than the last,
Master Leonardo imagines an engine
To carry a man up into the sun…

And as he’s dreaming the heavens call him,
softly whispering their siren-song:
“Leonardo. Leonardo, vieni á volare”. (“Leonardo. Leonardo, come fly”.)

L’uomo colle sua congiegniate e grandi ale,
facciendo forza contro alla resistente aria.
(A man with wings large enough and duly connected
might learn to overcome the resistance of the air.)

II.
Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine…

As the candles burn low he paces and writes,
Releasing purchased pigeons one by one
Into the golden Tuscan sunrise…

And as he dreams, again the calling,
The very air itself gives voice:
“Leonardo. Leonardo, vieni á volare”. (“Leonardo. Leonardo, come fly”.)

Vicina all’elemento del fuoco…
(Close to the sphere of elemental fire…)

Scratching quill on crumpled paper,

Rete, canna, filo, carta.
(Net, cane, thread, paper.)

Images of wing and frame and fabric fastened tightly.

…sulla suprema sottile aria.
(…in the highest and rarest atmosphere.)

III.
Master Leonardo Da Vinci Dreams of his Flying Machine…
As the midnight watchtower tolls,
Over rooftop, street and dome,
The triumph of a human being ascending
In the dreaming of a mortal man.

Leonardo steels himself,
takes one last breath,
and leaps…

“Leonardo, Vieni á Volare! Leonardo, Sognare!” (“Leonardo, come fly! Leonardo, Dream!”)

Charles Anthony Silvestri, 1965-present

And last but not least, Nox Aurumque.

This piece is the continuation of another piece titled Lux Aurumque. Whitacre wanted to create a second part to Lux aurumque and asked Silvertri to write something in Latin whose lyrics in Latin could be easily manipulated when sung. For all the background information, on how this piece came to be you can go to: http://ericwhitacre.com/music-catalog/satb-choral/nox-aurumque

Nox Aurumque

Gold,
Tarnished and dark,
Singing of night,
Singing of death,
Singing itself to sleep.
And an angel dreams of sunrise,
And war.

Tears of the ages.
O shield!
O gilded blade!
You are too heavy to carry,
Too heavy for flight.

Gold,
Tarnished and weary,
Awaken!
Melt from weapon to wing!
Let us soar again,
High above this wall;
Angels reborn and rejoicing with wings made
Of dawn,
Of gold,
Of dream.

Gold,
Singing of wings,
Singing of shadows.

Charles Anthony Silvestri, 1965-present

As you can see from these past examples, when Literature and Music intertwine, one can create worlds we can not imagine we could create, making the reader/audience forget about their reality and “abduct them” to the reality one creates when we are making music/reading/sharing a piece of literature. If only we took the chance to actually try and pursue this, just as our friend Eric and Charles, we can with “flying wings and soaring leap” create worlds that will forever stay… in our hearts… and minds.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” by: Bob Chilcott


Slowly dies…


Scanning through last year’s paper
Moments pass
Moments will renew
As the clock dies slowly consumed by fire.

Around the table we go
Back and forth as the wind goes
I sit in disbelief to this day
That what happened came true
This is only a memory
That will soon pass too
As the clock dies slowly consumed by fire

Melodies arise from the silent pages
Moments that passed
Moments will come
Closing my eyes, as the currents embrace my soul
As the clock regrets stopping for the moment…

It happened,
It passed,
Here I lie in denial
Every tear is a waterfall
Ever fear a grain of sand
Listen to the emotion’s lament and turmoil
Just sitting here, waiting for the moment to pass
As the clock slowly dies consumed by tears

José Clavell Acosta
2011®

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