Chanting the Light of Foresight

Chanting the Light of Foresight (imbas forasnai) is a 1987 composition by Terry Riley written for and commissioned by the Rova Saxophone Quartet, though during the course of the composition it was decided that Rova would compose "The Chord of War" and "The Pipes of Medb/Medb's Blues" contains improvisation.

The piece is based on the Taín Bó Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley, translated by Thomas Kinsella), a part of the eight-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales.

The work is partly in resonant intonation, requiring false fingerings, jaw manipulations, and straining the lips and lungs, and contains many unusual time signatures. "The Tuning Path" and "The Pipes of Medb" progresses from simple to more complex areas of tuning, statically depicting night on the battlefield. "Medb's Blues" is in the form of a 6 bar 10/4 blues where players alternately keep a cantus firmus while others improvise. "Song Announcing Dawn's Combat" depicts foster brothers and main character adversaries Cúchulainn and Ferdia and uses 7/8 rhythms, pulsing drones, and Hindustani scales to refer to the Bhagavad Gita. Ferdia is killed by his brother with a secret weapon, gae bolga, which Cúchulainn removes from the body while lamenting in "Ferdia's Death Chant". Cúchulainn completes his training under Scáthach as a warrior and shaman, and she chants to him his future through the imbas forasnai through repeated phrases containing 8/8 and 7/8 measures. Only the first chord of the Rova-composed section does not appear throughout the rest of the piece. Riley responded to Rova's concern for this by saying, "Well — that's the chord of war."

Movements

  1. The Tuning Path
  2. The Pipes of Medb/Medb's Blues
  3. Song Announcing Dawn's Combat
  4. The Chord of War
  5. Ferdia's Death Chant
  6. Chanting the Light of Foresight

The piece has been recorded and released on:

  • Chanting the Light of Foresight (1994), performed by Rova. New Albion: NA064CD.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Foresight — or forethought may refer to: *planning *foresight (futures studies) *premonition *precognition *divinationproper names: * Foresight Exchange, an online prediction market using play money * Foresight Institute, an American nonprofit organization * …   Wikipedia

  • Rova Saxophone Quartet — The Rova Saxophone Quartet is a San Francisco based saxophone quartet formed in October 1977 at the same time as their less adventurous but better known colleagues the World Saxophone Quartet. The name Rova is an acronym formed from the last… …   Wikipedia

  • Terry Riley — Infobox musical artist Name = Terry Riley |Img capt = Img size = Background = non performing personnel Birth name = Terry Riley Alias = Born = Birth date and age|1935|6|24 Origin = Colfax, California, USA Died = Instrument = Piano, keyboards,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of program music — Program music is a term usually applied to orchestral music in the classical music tradition in which the piece is designed according to some preconceived narrative, or is designed to evoke a specific concrete idea. This is distinct from the more …   Wikipedia

  • Rinderraub von Cooley — Die Táin Bó Cúailnge (irisch: Rinderraub von Cooley, oft kurz Táin genannt) ist die zentrale Sage des Ulster Zyklus, eines der vier großen Zyklen der altirischen Mythologie. Niedergeschrieben wurde das Epos auf Alt und Mittelirisch; es ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Táin — Die Táin Bó Cúailnge (irisch: Rinderraub von Cooley, oft kurz Táin genannt) ist die zentrale Sage des Ulster Zyklus, eines der vier großen Zyklen der altirischen Mythologie. Niedergeschrieben wurde das Epos auf Alt und Mittelirisch; es ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Táin Bó Cuailgne — Die Táin Bó Cúailnge (irisch: Rinderraub von Cooley, oft kurz Táin genannt) ist die zentrale Sage des Ulster Zyklus, eines der vier großen Zyklen der altirischen Mythologie. Niedergeschrieben wurde das Epos auf Alt und Mittelirisch; es ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Táin Bó Cuailnge — Die Táin Bó Cúailnge (irisch [t̪ˠaːnʲ boː ˈkuəlʲɲə], Rinderraub von Cooley, oft kurz Táin genannt) ist die zentrale Sage des Ulster Zyklus, eines der vier großen Zyklen der mittelalterlichen irischen Literatur, als deren wichtigste Erzählung die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Táin Bó Cúailnge — Die Táin Bó Cúailnge (irisch: Rinderraub von Cooley, oft kurz Táin genannt) ist die zentrale Sage des Ulster Zyklus, eines der vier großen Zyklen der altirischen Mythologie. Niedergeschrieben wurde das Epos auf Alt und Mittelirisch; es ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Terry Riley — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Riley. Terry Riley Terry Riley, interview au Lincoln Center, 2004 …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.