Towards a Concerto of Deliverance

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First posted on Starship Forum in June 2002. [Starship Forum was active at Yahoo! Groups when they still existed, prior to 2020].

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JMC - 12 Jun 2002

I've perused the texts you sent. Many thanks. I'm getting a whiff of Rand land. It's very familiar. It takes me back to other times with a combination of nostalgia and curiosity. I need to get more of it, of course. The theme of Deliverance inspires everything. As a side bar, I read Book Of Lamentations yesterday. It does not seem especially interesting, but it still had some relevance. I am not particularly familiar with the Bible, but there was something about Deliverance that took me there. I think it has to do with the dark place that is before.

Also, I've been reading a bit more extensively about objectivism and Ayn Rand. I acquired some of the writings today (Atlas Shrugged was sold out: the bookseller said he's been having a run on Ayn Rand books! hmm...) So there are many things I hope we have time to discuss as we get down the road.

Mostly I wish to discover (experience) the many meanings of Deliverance. Last night we discussed the value of a 'script' in the creative process, visualization, and I suppose this is what I'm seeking now to construct for the piece.

MP - 12 Jun 2002

The music list I had sent you was kept to a absolute bare minimum; of course I could suggest many more works, from other genre, too. The list of your works was kept to a minimum, too. I could easily have included Ibistix and Dragon King, too -- and Syren, Aurora Spinray, and other pieces from A Third Testament, Gateway, Atlantis, Rushing River, and more. Most of your work fits into the musical universe as I conceive it for Deliverance. Indeed, if I were to pick a single piece that, by itself, is thematically expressive of Rand's description of the Concerto, it would be Tillicum. Tillicum, as it is though, is only a brief glimpse and, of course, not extensive enough.
I will continue to try to elaborate on how I conceive the themes, as a philosophical listener and not, of course, as a musician; obviously, I must humbly rely on your genius to grasp them musically and create the work. As much as I may be the initiator of the project, there is no other composer I know of, who could accomplish it in the way I would like to hear it. So, the honor is mine, too, that you are so willing to do it. And yes, I expect that the Concerto will come to be heard as a great work of art -- for you, for me, and, slowly but surely, by more and more other listeners.
You mentioned, that the completed work might consist of a selection and sequence of pieces. At this stage, I'm not sure how much this type of presentation would detract from having a unified, integrated work -- as I conceive of the Concerto now, anyway. While I'm not expecting a classical concerto form of three movements of 10-20 minutes each -- I do think that there should be some discernible organic structure, composed of several, but not too many, related sections that play no shorter than 6-8 minutes each. But, I don't want to condition your final choices, so long as you aim for creating an integrated entity which is a world unto to itself, into which a listener can be transported and immersed, and thus transformed upon leaving that "sunlit" world. (Your work for the play "Atlantis" is an example of "being taken away to another world".)
Yes, create first the core material that could be presented in a marketable (CD) form, but also be open and ready to enlarging or extending the scope for other presentations, financed by other, additional budgets. For the core work, I'm agreeable to your incorporating non-electronic instrumentation if you find it appropriate to sections of the work. ... However you do it, I expect that, like in your past work, the instrumentation would be chosen according to the specific idea you want to express (like the architectural "form following function"). That is, the instrumentation should be integral to the melody, and not overly draw attention to itself, separate from the melody. Something else to think about: While electronic timbres are becoming more familiar to listeners, the classical groups are still accustomed to traditional instrumentation. Not that I think you should use synthesized strings, brass, etc. -- that would actually ruin the work -- but instrumentation like you did for Atlantis is more like the way to go about it: something familiar and yet new. Also, draw heavily on your vast repertoire of unique percussive rhythms that you always seemed to have.

MP - 13 Jun 2002

Here are more excerpts from The Fountainhead that might help with the insight into the "religious" tones of Concerto of Deliverance. (I also refer you back to Rand's Introduction to the novel )


["The Temple of the Human Spirit"]

The Fountainhead
Part Two - Chapter 10

"So you see, Mr. Roark, though it is to be a religious edifice, it is also more than that. You notice that we call it the Temple of the Human Spirit. We want to capture--n stone, as others capture in music--not some narrow creed, but the essence of all religion. And what is the essence of religion? The great aspiration of the human spirit toward the highest, the noblest, the best. The human spirit as the creator and the conqueror of the ideal. The great life-giving force of the universe. The heroic human spirit. That is your assignment, Mr. Roark."

Chapter 11

Then Mallory listened attentively while Roark spoke of the building and of what he wanted from the sculptor. He concluded:

"Just one figure. It will stand here." He pointed to a sketch. "The place is built around it. The statue of a naked woman. If you understand the building, you understand what the figure must be. The human spirit. The heroic in man. The aspiration and the fulfillment, both. Uplifted in its quest--and uplifting by ts own essence. Seeking God--and finding itself. Showing that there is no higher reach beyond its own form... You're the only one who can do it for me."


When a man entered this temple, he would feel space molded around him, for him, as if it had waited for his entrance, to be completed. It was a joyous place, with the joy of exaltation that must be quiet. It was a place where one would come to feel sinless and strong, to find the peace of spirit never granted save by one's own glory.

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Concerto of Deliverance
Composer: JohnMills-C ockell
Executive Producer: Monart Pon, Sunburst Music
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