Commissioned by Cora Voce; Tacoma, WA
Included in Project : Encore 2017, Quarter 1: PROJECT : ENCORE™ has found this work to be of exceptional merit and has included it in the exclusive P:E Catalog of Contemporary Choral Music
"Lost Songs of Ancient Ireland," for Mixed Choir with Treble Descant, Piano or Harp, Bodhran, Irish Flute, and Violin, is a three-movement song cycle that focuses on the shifting relationships over the scope of a lifetime from the differing perspective of each person involved.
I. Old Beggarman— Two interwoven jigs, "It Was an Old Beggarman, Weary and Wet" and "Ag an mBóithrín Buí (At the Yellow Little Road)," of both a young lady's observation of a wandering beggarman and his unrequited, possibly unexpressed, love for her. They are offered together as alternate perspectives from potential romantic partners, and features lilting, mouth music, or portaireacht bhéil (port a'bhéil, "mouth-singing") as it is known in Irish Gaelic.
II. I Would Rock My Child to Sleep— A sentimental Irish lullaby Irish lullaby "Do Chuirfinnse Féin Mo Leanbh a Chodladh (I Would Put My Own Child to Sleep)" highlights the shifting roles of a caregiver: the parent full of hopes of the parent for the child morphing over a lifetime into a blessing from the grown child to the aged parent. Each verse is progressively based upon an overall narrative:
1. hopes of the parent for the child
2. an easy, natural rhythm to family life, possibly the child is older now, and there is a dream of family continuance
3. uncertainty over who is nurturing who: does the child now sing to comfort the parent?
4. a closing blessing for peace and rest that hearkens back to the successful sleep of a tired infant
III. The Drummer— An energetic reel, a combination of "Maidin Fhómhair, nó Cailín Péacach (The Harvest Maiden, or Sprouting Maiden)" and "Cormac Spáinneach, nó An Drumadóir (Cormac Spaineach, or The Drummer)," alternating between romantic partners encased by a nostalgic love song, suggesting the passing of a lifetime.
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