Inspire and Sing
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
Finished: July, 2019
Premiered: December 2019
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
Cantate Domino, SAB and piano
Life to Everything, SSAA divisi and piano
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, SSATB and piano
Lux aeterna, SSAA, string quartet with piano
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!
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?"
The Wellerman, also known as Soon May the Wellerman Come, is a well-known whaling song and sea shanty. Originating from New Zealand, the song frequently refers to the "wellermen", supply ships owned by the Weller Brothers. The song's lyrics describe a whaling ship called the "Billy o' Tea" and its hunt for a right whale (baleen whales). The song describes how the ship's crew hope for a "wellerman" (an employee of the Weller brothers, who owned ships that brought provisions to New Zealand whalers) to arrive and bring them supplies of luxuries, with the chorus stating "soon may the wellerman come, to bring us sugar and tea and rum." According to the song's listing on the website New Zealand Folk Song, "the workers at these bay-whaling stations (shore whalers) were not paid wages, they were paid in slops (ready-made clothing), spirits and tobacco." In the whaling industry in 19th-century New Zealand, the Weller brothers owned ships that would sell provisions to whaling boats. The male chorus sing of their hope that "one day when the tonguing' is done we'll take our leave and go". "Tonguing" in this context refers to the practice of cutting strips of whale blubber to render into oil and was a ghastly smell that filled the air of Otago Harbour, but the shore whalers did not care as they smelled money for their hard work! Subsequent verses detail the captain's determination to bring in the whale in question, even as time passes and multiple whaling boats are lost in the struggle. In the last verse, it describes how the Billy o' Tea is still locked in an ongoing struggle with the whale, with the wellerman making a "regular call" to encourage the captain, crew and all.
New Zealand Sea Shanty, video promo
SSAA divisi, string quartet with piano (also available for SSAA divisi a cappella and SSAA divisi with piano
Reflective Choral Pieces
SATB divisi with piano, bass drum and crash cymbal
Available in January 2021!
Please listen to the inspirational music video that goes along with the music.
Check out #beemyears #musiccosmos #lifeunfolding #musiccosmoscomposercompetition #spitfireaudio #lurssenmastering #TheAmazonic #SkunkworksAudio #OSSYFFER
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Ney, Darabuka, Arabian Frame Drum