Inspire and Sing

2019-2020 season choral music

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LATEST COMMISSIONS

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, SSA and piano 

Patrick Thomas Jaskolka, Deputy Choir Director and Child Choirmaster

Aalto Opera House, Musiktheater, Essen, Germany

Finished:  June, 2019

Premiered:  November 2019


Sing We Noel! SATB  divisi and Brass Quintet

Christian Clark, Director of Central Oregon Mastersingers

Bend, Oregon

Finished: July, 2019

Premiered:  December 2019

BEND CAMERATA, SEMI-PROFESSIONAL ENSEMBLE

Two concerts featuring James W. Knox music at Nativity Lutheran Church of Bend, Oregon

Saturday, September 26th at 7:00pm

Sunday, September 27th at 3:00pm

Look for ticket details in the coming months at www.bendcamerata.org


LATEST CHORAL EDITIONS

Cantate Domino, SAB and piano

Life to Everything, SSAA divisi and piano

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, SSATB and piano

Asgard & Niflheim is a major choral work comprised of six movements.  The inspiration of this epic work comes from the Old Norse cosmological realms and folklore stories.  Asgard refers to the godly world and Niflheim refers to the darkness, which is commonly known as Hell.  

James masterfully displays  this epic work with vivid and gripping tales! The first Movement I.  Land of the Holly Trees and Movement II.  Low Hills of the East is available NOW!

Entire choral work for string orchestra, piano and percussion will be available in late spring 2020.

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THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER

  

I am happy to announce that my latest choral project, THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER, written for SATB divisi, string orchestra, piano and percussion, will be available in the following months! My friend, Patrick Thomas Jaskolka, Youth Choir Director of the Essen Germany Aalto Opera Theater House, has agreed to transcribe the English version into German as well making two versions upon release (Die Wichtelmänner).

The timeless tale by Brothers Grimm first appeared in the German version, Grimm's Fairy Tales and later translated in English in 1884. Several versions have surfaced since the story was created and in this choral work, comprised of six movements, focuses on the first tale, which can be read here https://germanstories.vcu.edu/grimm/wichtel_dual.html 

If you are looking for a center piece for the holiday season, please consider THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER! 

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Song of Amergin

SATB divisi, string orchestra and percussion

Available in April 2020

 

During the conquest, the Milesians battled with the three kings, their druids and warriors. Amergin is believed to have set the rules of engagement and was an impartial judge for the warring parties.

An agreement was made for the Milesians to retreat back to the ocean beyond the ninth wave which was believed to be a magical boundary. Once signalled they moved towards land, however the druids of the Tuatha Dé Danann used magic to raise a storm which prevented them from reaching the shore.

Amergin sang an invocation that called up the spirit of Ireland, which parted the storm and enabled the ship to land safely. This invocation has been come to be known as The Song of Amergin.

Although there was more than one major battle, which incurred significant losses on both sides, it is this event that is widely believed to have enabled the Milesians to triumph.

The three kings of Tuatha Dé Danann were eventually killed in single combat by the three surviving sons of Míl, Eber Finn, Érimón and Amergin.

Irish folklorist and dramatist, Augusta, Lady Gregory translated the poem in her book Gods and Fighting Men (1904) and reads as follows:

"I am the wind on the sea;

I am the wave of the sea;

I am the bull of seven battles;

I am the eagle on the rock

I am a flash from the sun;

I am the most beautiful of plants;

I am a strong wild boar;

I am a salmon in the water;

I am a lake in the plain;

I am the word of knowledge;

I am the head of the spear in battle;

I am the god that puts fire in the head;

Who spreads light in the gathering on the hills?

Who can tell the ages of the moon?

Who can tell the place where the sun rests?"

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Looking-Glass River

Scored for SATB/SATB with Piano: Available late spring 2020

  

In a series of clear and easily visualized images, Scottish poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, summons the magical charm of the river with its ‘looking-glass’ aspect: it’s like a looking-glass not only because we look down and see ourselves and the world around us reflected in the surface of the water, but because to the imaginative child it hints at an inverted world, a magical realm that is like our own but also different.

In Stevenson’s poem any disturbance to the water is short-lived: although the disruption to the still water caused by a marten or trout may cause circular ripples to appear, these will soon pass and normality will return.


  

Looking-Glass River by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Smooth it glides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam –
O the clean gravel!
O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Pave pools as clear as air –
How a child wishes
To live down there!

We can see our coloured faces
Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places,
Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping trout,
Spreads in a twinkle
And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
All below grows black as night,
Just as if mother
Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute –
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by.