Pantheod

for chamber ensemble(10) (2006) 27′

  • I. Zephyr
  • II. Dusketha
  • III. Breama
  • IV. Salamander
  • Premiered => GSU, Graduate Composition Recital, Daniel Swilley- Conducting; 2.24.2007. Recorded => In with the New Volumn No. 2 (Mvt. I. Zephyr)(Daniel Swilley - Conducting).
Program Notes: 

Pantheod (2006), for chamber ensemble(10) - draws inspiration primarily from John Keats’s poem Song of Four Faeries. The titular faeries, named Salamander, Zephyr, Dusketha, and Breama, are each associated with an element in Keat’s poem and throughout mythology: Salamander to Fire, Zephry to Air, Dusketha to Earth, and Breama to Water.Pantheod’s four movements are a portrayal of these faeries/elements. Because of the differing characteristics of each faery and element each movement is approached differently in terms of pitch, rhythm, texture, and time. The first movement Zephyr (wind) utilizes overlapping augmented triads for pitch material, non-retrogradable rhythms, and is mostly aleatoric. All of these choices were made to emphasize vastness, fluidity, and a sense of unendingness. The subsequent movements follow this notion of characterizing the faeries and elements. Pantheod’s title is derived from a manipulation of the word pantheon, which is a monument or temple dedicated to all gods of a religion, or in this case Keats’s faeries and their associate elements. The instrumentation for Pantheod is an expansion of the instrumentation of Stravinsky’s L'histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale), with additions (flute, horn, and viola) to balance each family of instruments. Pantheod was composed with the aid of the computer programs MusicGen and AthenaCL.

 

The Song of Four Faeries by John Keats:

SALAMANDER.

HAPPY, happy glowing fire!

ZEPHYR.

Fragrant air! delicious light!

DUSKETHA.

Let me to my glooms retire!

BREAMA.

I to green-weed rivers bright!

SALAMANDER.

Happy, happy glowing fire!

Dazzling bowers of soft retire,

Ever let my nourish'd wing,

Like a bat's, still wandering,

Faintless fan your fiery spaces,

Spirit sole in deadly places.

In unhaunted roar and blaze,

Open eyes that never daze,

Let me see the myriad shapes

Of men, and beasts, and fish, and apes,

Portray'd in many a fiery den,

And wrought by spumy bitumen.

On the deep intenser roof,

Arched every way aloof,

Let me breathe upon their skies,

And anger their live tapestries;

Free from cold, and every care,

Of chilly rain, and shivering air.

ZEPHYR.

Spirit of Fire! away! away!

Or your very roundelay

Will sear my plumage newly budded

From its quilled sheath, all studded

With the self-same dews that fell

On the May-grown Asphodel.

Spirit of Fire--away! away!

BREAMA.

Spirit of Fire--away ! away!

Zephyr, blue-eyed Faery, turn,

And see my cool sedge-bury'd urn,

Where it rests its mossy brim

'Mid water-mint and cresses dim;

And the flowers, in sweet troubles,

Lift their eyes above the bubbles,

Like our Queen, when she would please

To sleep, and Oberon will teaze.

Love me, blue-eyed Faery, true!

Soothly I am sick for you.

ZEPHYR.

Gentle Breama! by the first

Violet young nature nurst,

I will bathe myself with thee,

So you sometimes follow me

To my home, far, far, in west,

Beyond the nimble-wheeled quest

Of the golden-browed sun:

Come with me, o'er tops of trees,

To my fragrant palaces,

Where they ever floating are

Beneath the cherish of a star

Call'd Vesper, who with silver veil

Ever hides his brilliance pale,

Ever gently-drows'd doth keep

Twilight for the Fayes to sleep.

Fear not that your watery hair

Will thirst in drouthy ringlets there;

Clouds of stored summer rains

Thou shalt taste, before the stains

Of the mountain soil they take,

And too unlucent for thee make.

I love thee, crystal Faery, true!

Sooth I am as sick for you!

SALAMANDER.

Out, ye aguish Faeries, out!

Chilly lovers, what a rout

Keep ye with your frozen breath,

Colder than the mortal death.

Adder-eyed Dusketha, speak,

Shall we leave these, and go seek

In the earth's wide entrails old

Couches warm as their's are cold?

O for a fiery gloom and thee,

Dusketha, so enchantingly

Freckle-wing'd and lizard-sided!

DUSKETHA.

By thee, Sprite, will I be guided!

I care not for cold or heat;

Frost and flame, or sparks, or sleet,

To my essence are the same;--

But I honour more the flame.

Sprite of Fire, I follow thee

Wheresoever it may be,

To the torrid spouts and fountains,

Underneath earth-quaked mountains;

Or, at thy supreme desire,

Touch the very pulse of fire

With my bare unlidded eyes.

SALAMANDER.

Sweet Dusketha! paradise!

Off, ye icy Spirits, fly!

Frosty creatures of the sky!

DUSKETHA.

Breathe upon them, fiery sprite!

ZEPHYR AND BREAMA.

Away! away to our delight!

SALAMANDER.

Go, feed on icicles, while we

Bedded in tongue-flames will be.

DUSKETHA.

Lead me to those feverous glooms,

Sprite of Fire!

BREAMA.

Me to the blooms,

Blue-eyed Zephyr, of those flowers

Far in the west where the May-cloud lowers;

And the beams of still Vesper, when winds are all wist,

Are shed thro' the rain and the milder mist,

And twilight your floating bowers.