Spindrift Commissioning Guild Project for 2005
Meditations for Organ for Carson P. Cooman
In the fall of 2004 organist and composer Carson Cooman asked me to write a set of organ pieces that could be performed on recitals or other types of concerts, individually or as a set. I decided to write several meditations on natural phenomena. Each of these pieces will be 3 to 4 minutes in length and explore a single mood or idea. The title of the set is Meditations.
Carson Cooman is a renowned and prolific composer and performer with numerous performances happening all over the world. He is also an authority on contemporary composers and actively supports their work. You can find out more about Carson at http://www.carsoncooman.com.
The following friends and supporters have contributed to support the composing and performance of Meditations for organ:
Anonymous - 6
Grant and Betsy Anderson
Charlie and Dorothea Bowen
Cynthia Joyce Clay
Carson P. Cooman
Alfa Joy Radford
Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer
My thanks to everyone who is supporting this new music for organ!
Read about the Guild.
Composer comments while working on the music:
- January 31 2005 - The title of the set of pieces is Meditations. I'm sending the first piece Veiled Moon to Carson today. I forgot to attach a preliminary unfinished version on January 28, but by the time I realized it, I had finished the ending and could send Carson a finished version.
- February 24 2005 - I've sent the second piece Diligence of Ants as a PDF file to Carson. I had questions about the fast tempo, but he felt that with a little practice it laid under the fingers well. I don't know why ants came to mind for this piece, but I was remembering the leafcutter ants David and I saw in Costa Rica and liked the quiet busy-ness they brought to mind. The music has a busy repetitive hynotic quality.
- March 16 2005 - I've sent a third piece titled Twilight to Carson. There's a bittersweet beauty to a sunset and its fading light that enchants me. I am reminded of both happy times and sad - the beauty of sunsets on Ashuelot Pond where our cabin has a view of the western shore, and a sunset I watched in Scotland on a high school band trip - a long time ago - with a friend who is now dead, killed in one of the planes on 9/11. The light fades so slowly in Scotland in June that it seemed wrenchingly sad to an impressionable high school girl.
- March 30 2005 - A fourth movement called Snow on the Wind is done. The last of the endless snowstorms of this winter are winding down. I've always loved snow and this winter had plenty of the white fluffy swirling type. After so much of it, the magic is wearing thin, but it will be back next winter.
- May 13 2005 - The first draft of the last movement is nearly done. I'm not sure of the title. It's something like Grand Complexity of Trees. The last movement is proving harder than the first four, but I think it's finally coalescing into music. I wanted to use some big sounds, using the magnificent resources of the organ, although it might seem contrary to the usual view of quiet meditation where you clear your mind of specific thoughts. All of these meditations explore the characteristics of the thing or idea being contemplated.
- May 19 2005 - I've sent the finished draft of Grand Complexity of Trees to Carson. Later we'll work on the registration when he comes to Massachusetts. It really helps to have an expert organist's advice on what combinations of pipes to use. He can provide advice on how to make the specification adaptable to different organs with different resources.