From the crest of a green wave (1993)
Jane O’Leary b. 1946
The work moves through a series of episodes, each growing out of common musical material and linked by a fascination with repetition, clusters of notes, and the juxtaposition of sustained notes and sounds of short duration. All of these elements are introduced in the opening two bars of music.
The piece follows a journey in time where moods shift suddenly and colours blend and merge. One may think of it as an imaginary narrative (with some surprises), or a walk in the woods. One should take time to listen closely to the mingling sounds, expect the unexpected, and enjoy both the forward motion and stillness of silent expectation.
The title is taken from A Music by the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly and captures the spirit in which the work was composed and is now passed onto performers and listeners. It was written in September 1993 at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan.
© Jane O’Leary
It is not a music that will live alone
Or be acquired
For good by any man.
It was taken from the crest of a green wave
By a man among rocks
Who thought it sweet enough to beat the grave
And shaped it to the heartbeat that he knew.
(from A Music by Brendan Kennelly)
Picture: Gwen O'Dowd