Welcome to week 2, Muse Echo, I write part 2 of "Songes d'un cœur épris" which you can hear here:
In part 1, I wrote about the why and where behind the work. This blog is about what I was thinking/feeling - and where I chose to go in the creative process.
I thought a lot about le bon Roi René of course, regarding his philosophies and choices he made. He chose creating love, harmony and beauty over perpetrating violence. He chose courage to be emotionally vulnerable in love over dominion or avoidance. He chose patience and compassion over impatience and insensitivity. His philosophical work was full introspection, nuance and depth of personal feeling. He encouraged restraint and awareness of the feelings of others.
No wonder he was being celebrated and remembered all this time later! I felt honored to be chosen to compose this. I took it to heart and quite seriously. I felt thrilled and also a lot of pressure!
I thought (in awe) about what an intense influence he has had upon French culture and the world subsequently. I wallowed in the music of Guillaume de Machaut (one of my favorite composers) and wondered how much of it the King may have heard, as well as religious influences upon René in that time period. I noticed what I perceive as being an underlying Sufi influence upon his work and thinking. I wondered about how much influence Mid Eastern Mysticism may have had upon the King woven into his religious beliefs. Regardless, he clearly walked a path of the heart.
I contemplated the teachings of my paternal grandmother on the subject of love and courage which she taught me via metaphor through learning how to float and swim. Once I learned to trust that the water would hold me and the importance to trust without fear - as fear is the primary ingredient in drowning - trust in living - ..... she said that it is the same with love. She stressed the importance for me to remember that when I became a woman.
I decided to imagine and entertain the possibility that this sort of intensity of the sacred, feminine wisdom was probably somehow a part of Roi René's philosophies about love. I decided to depict that as best I could in this work.
So, I wove together feelings of calm religious introspection/reserve with a feeling of floating heard in the 2/2 chorale like A section which is returned to in variation, alternating with the hopeful excitement and questioning of amorous reciprocation in the 6/8 B section returned to with variation. They interweave and influence one another and then I throw in a section of what I think of as a river, because I dreamed of a river where I heard various currents happening at once. I decided to weave that into the work because it was about the piece. The dream felt like a gift which I chose to honor. That's the " I " section, most active and contrapuntal. After that I take it home to the end and bring it to an end with a major triad for a hopeful feeling in closure.
I hope this is helpful and that those who perform and hear this work will enjoy. Thank you for your interest.