About Concerto of Deliverance
The title implies two concepts. The ‘concerto’ is a dialogue, an interplay between soloist(s) and ensemble. The players are violin, clarinet, synthesizer, and an electro-acoustic orchestra which redefines its instrumentation from one movement to the next. Shape shifting is an important component of the piece. ‘Deliverance’ may be understood as a journey of transition, from crisis and discord to peace and joyful harmony.
I conceived of seven movements that suggested a mythical journey. The idea was that each movement consisted of a concerto-like instrumental piece accompanied by a song, a canticle as I came to call the short children’s songs. The songs for mezzo represent climactic points in the implied narrative. They are from a different perspective than the children’s. The children’s point of view is that of the traveler. The mezzo’s perspective may be thought of as the traveler’s ‘romantic ideal’.
There are virtually no repetitions of material, with one particular exception. The piano theme that begins the Concerto reappears as the final theme in Reunion, the last movement, although the harmony and orchestration are much altered. The music and concerto form reflect the transforming, tumultuous world we traverse, seeking to find peace and happiness amidst overwhelming turmoil and incomprehensible wonder.
Concerto of Deliverance was commissioned by Monart Pon, who is probably more knowledgeable about my work than anyone else I know, and to him I am most grateful. The title and inspiration of this work comes from a chapter name and a paragraph in the American novel, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. This is my attempt to express the vision of those words in music.
john mills-cockell April, 2004
John was a founding member of the multi-media group Intersystems and of the first synthesizer based rock band, Syrinx. Still in his teens, John Mills-Cockell had the opportunity to study with Myron Schaffer, Gustav Ciamaga, and Samuel Dolin. He was commissioned to create one of the first pieces for orchestra and synthesizer, Stringspace, for the Toronto Repertory Orchestra.
John has composed hundreds of scores for films, theatre, art installations, radio, and television. His compositions for dance have been used by the National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg, and Toronto Dance Theatre. He won the BMI award for young composers, a CFTA award for best musical score (The Newcomers), and the SOCAN award for outstanding contribution to Canadian music in 1990. His musical Donut City was nominated for a Dora in 1991. He is a recipient of Canada Council awards, and has served as guest composer at the National Theatre School, Fanshawe College, and the University of Victoria.
Since moving to Vancouver, John has created scores for several productions by
Glynis Leyshon at Vancouver Playhouse, Marti Maraden at the National Art Centre
in Ottawa, Brian Richmond at Phoenix Theatre, John Juliani for Savage God and
CBC, and Donna Spenser at Firehall Centre for the Arts. His scores have
accompanied works of contemporary Canadian playwrights Drew Hayden Taylor,
Maureen Hunter, and David French as well as for the classics of Shakepeare,
Ibsen, Miller, Wilde, and Shaw. He collaborated with poet Blake Parker in the
multimedia piece, Stella in Black and White, and with light sculptor Michael
Hayden for a permanent installation at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. His
discography includes albums with Intersystems, Kensington Market, Syrinx (with
the hit single, ‘Tillicum’), and solo releases: Gateway, Heartbeat,
and Do You Hear the Rushing River?
Blake Parker holds an MA in Anthropology, teaches at the Kutenai Art Therapy
Institute in Nelson, BC, and is the graphic designer of a number of therapeutic
games for local company, Blue Heron Productions. He has been involved in writing
and performance poetry for all of his adult life and continues to be interested
in the cross-fertilization of different disciplines. Over the last several
years, he has contributed to experimental and mixed media collaborations. He is
part of the local improvising trio, The Three Poets, has hosted several shows
for local co-op radio, and is currently engaged in several new works involving
dance, video, poetry, and music.
Sharon Stanis has a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, soloist, and
recitalist. As a founding member of the Lafayette String Quartet, she has toured
North America and Europe, performing in Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, and the
Salzburg Morzarteum. The Lafayette Quartet has recorded on the Dorian, Adlar and
CBC labels as well as appearing on NPR's St. Paul Sunday Morning. In addition to
performing, Ms. Stanis teaches at the University of Victoria, British Columbia,
where she has been an Artist-in-Residence since 1991. Throughout the year she
gives master classes and recitals in North America. Ms. Stanis has been a
soloist with the Victoria Symphony, and serves as a guest artist on several
chamber music recital series.
Thea Stavroff is a teacher and coach of acting, who has also written and directed many plays and musical productions for children and adults. She is an actress, vocalist, and percussionist, and currently performs with Celtic Chaos, B2B, and Flash Theatre. She is a Youth worker with the Oceanside school district and teaches acting through the Island Academy of Children's Theatre. The Island Academy Singers are comprised of:
- Francesca Champagne-Holland, 13, studies Royal Conservatory voice &
piano, plays flute, and performs in musical theatre productions with Bard to
(B2B), church, and school. - Shea Liddicoat, 19, is studying piano, voice and
violin at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria, B.C. - Alexandria
Maillot, 11, studies acting and voice; performs with B2B and competes in local
singing competitions. - Rebecca McLeod, 19, studies Canadian Conservatory
voice, and performs in local musicals and dinner theatre productions. - Fahlon
Smith, 9, studies acting, and performs with B2B and Flash Theatre. She sings with
the Every Voice Singers & Dolphin Bay Music, and plays violin and marimba. -
Jasmine Smith, 12, studies piano, marimba, Ukrainian dance, and acting. She
performs with B2B and Flash Theatre.
Patricia Kostek has given recitals and master classes, and served as a
competition jury member, in major cultural centers of Europe, Canada, the USA,
and S. America. She has performed in noted international music festivals,
conferences, and concerts all over the world, as well as with numerous symphonic
orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Honolulu Symphony, and
with such eminent conductors as Sir George Solti and Simon Rattle. Locally,
Patricia has performed with Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony,
and frequently records music for the cinema. She is affiliated with numerous
chamber music ensembles and orchestras in the Pacific Northwest, and is much in
demand as a soloist. Patricia is currently Professor of Clarinet and Chamber
Music at the University of Victoria.
A jazz and gospel singer, Leora Cashe has attracted acclaim for her unique
voice. In 2001, the West Coast Music Awards nominated her debut CD, Tears of
Joy, for "Best Gospel Recording" of the year. She has appeared on
CBC radio and
television with Canadian jazz legend Tommy Banks, and has sung with the
Universal Gospel Choir and the gospel quartet, Circle of Voices. She has
performed leading roles at the Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver), Royal City Musical
Review (New Westminster) as well as the title role in A Closer Walk with Patsy
Cline at the Belfry Theatre in Victoria. Leora is currently the music and choir
director at Vancouver’s Center for Spiritual Living, and has just completed her
second CD entitled, Inspiration. <http://www.leoracashe.com/>
Mark Franklin has been involved in the musical arts and electronics since 1969,
and has, at various times, been known as a musician, composer, recording
engineer, producer, and mastering engineer, and coffee boy. He has performed in
improvisatory ensembles, rock, jazz, and folk groups, as a studio musician, and
in musical theatre. He has composed music for TV, short film, and video, and for
albums by the Melodic Energy Commission, Bob Bell, and others. As a recording or
a mastering engineer, he has worked with the Seoul National Philharmonic
Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette String Quartet, and for acts
as diverse as the Irish Rovers, Djole (Juno Award nominee, 1995 for "Best Global
Recording,"), and John Mills-Cockell.
Monart Pon immigrated to Canada from China when a boy. Here he found three of
his passions: astronautics, philosophy, and music. He enjoys a diverse
collection of music, including Dvorak, Debussy, Gershwin, Stivell, Elvis, and
many, many others. He has a Master’s in the philosophy of astronautics and
advocates the rational, libertarian advancement towards living in Space.
<http://www.starshipaurora.com> Monart first heard John Mills-Cockell’s
"Tillicum" & "December Angel" and first read Rand’s
Atlas Shrugged, 30 years ago, and since then, wanted to hear a
"Concerto of Deliverance" as created by his favorite composer. This
album represents, for him, that desire achieved.
John Mills-Cockell's music cuts across genres and breaks the bounds of traditional styles and instrumentation, melding together both familiar and newly synthesized sonorities. His musicality spans a wide range of styles and themes, embracing the dramatic and deep, the light and simple, the wistful and enchanted, the defiant and the triumphant, the joyous and the sad -- all imbued with freshness, equanimity, and integrity. A fountainhead of genius in our times, John Mills-Cockell’s sunlit music ennobles and sets fire to the soul.
John Mills-Cockell demonstrates his incomparable mastery of the New Music, when he creates -- with superb clarity, intensity, sincerity, confidence, and grace -- such profoundly moving and philosophical themes as those of "deliverance". His music can challenge, comfort, and cheer one's relentless movement towards the realization of life's beauty and happiness. It's that powerful. An unusual musical adventure of discovery, remembrance, and arrival -- this Concerto of Deliverance.
- Monart Pon, a fan
Ayn Rand is a celebrated champion of free thought, free trade, individual rights, and romantic heroism. She wrote:
"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." [‘About the Author’, Atlas Shrugged]
Concerto of Deliverance