“Faces in Foam” Complete!

I’m always pleasantly surprised when a composition has such a life of its own that it can dictate to me when it’s ready to be finished, and when remaining themes reveal themselves to be ripe for a separate and new work. 🙂

Introducing Faces in Foam, theme #5 in THE BOOK OF I Project!

This is certainly a complex work, on so many levels! Musically, it calls for string orchestra; solo violin (played “Ethnically,” no less); percussion (timpani, suspended and crash cymbals, tambourine); AND… a boy soprano… singing in Latin… <3

He (in emulating the innocent and forgotten Lucio, the “little death”) sings toward the end (in the demo recording you’ll simply hear a piano plunking out the chant-like melody…. Very soon, though, that’ll be a voice…); he sings from the Alma Redemptoris Mater, a text originally written around the 1000s AD for the Catholic Advent and Epiphany mass:

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: peccatorum miserere.

(Translation)
Sweet Mother of the Redeemer, the passage to the heavens,
The gate of the spirits of the dead, and the star of the sea, aid the falling.
Mother of Him who cares for the people, have pity on us sinners.

This abridged set of quotes below, taken from Jorge Armenteros‘ “The Book of I,” aptly describes what I was going for in this work:

The woman sits at the edge of the cliff looking out to the sea…a daughter of North Africa perhaps. Her cheeks reflect olive light. She looks at me, carving her face in my memory…the step towards the rocky edge…I listen to the lines forming her face…I return to the melody still dancing in the air…
Lucio…had a delicate face…sharp angles, oblong eyes, and a classic Greek nose. I saw his face before the rocks disfigured him…he has the face of the forgotten… I try to paint him… I take a Renaissance approach, depicting him in a diaphanous light, like an angel…
I know those faces are…around me… They joined the sea because they had no other choice. Their faces are washed of past concerns. …If I…attempt to render them as ex-living people in my canvas, the white foam is quick to reclaim them. That is why all my canvases turn white–the frothy sea swallows them.

I really love how this installment has turned out! It is so driving and passionate and diverse…. It will be truly a delight getting to hear this performed live!

As I mentioned above, I had also started ideas for the next theme, which I call the “Everyman Theme”… I’d originally conceived it as a part of this present work. But, after much reconsideration — and the naturally beautiful unfolding of the end of “Faces in Foam” — I discovered, rather, that this theme will introduce my next installment fantastically well–it’s the perfect entrance for the next work!

I am thus eager to get off-and-running on Theme #6, titled: The Elusive Everyman and Her Majesty….. Stay tuned for more! This album (the composition portion of it, anyway) is fast nearing completion!!!!

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