Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
Forum Statistics

181,616 users have contributed to 42,178 threads and 254,543 posts.

In the past 24 hours, we have 3 new thread(s), 11 new post(s) and 38 new user(s).

  • Lament to the Spirit of War

    last edited
    last edited

    When Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 I was horrified as Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and Iraq did not have the means, nor the intent to pose a threat to the U.S.

    At that time I was writing vocal music and decided to set a poem written by the first known anti-war woman poet, and, coincidentally, she lived about 2500 years ago in what is now Iraq.

    Here's the poem:

    Lament to the Spirit of War

    You hack everything down in battle....
    God of War, with your fierce wings
    you slice away the land and charge
    disguised as a raging storm,
    growl as a roaring hurricane,
    yell like a tempest yells,
    thunder, rage, roar, and drum,
    expel evil winds!
    Your feet are filled with anxiety!
    On your lyre of moans
    I hear your loud dirge scream.

    Like a fiery monster you fill the land with poison.
    As thunder you growl over the earth,
    trees and bushes collapse before you.
    You are blood rushing down a mountain,
    Spirit of hate, greed and anger,
    dominator of heaven and earth!
    Your fire wafts over our land,
    riding on a beast,
    with indomitable commands,
    you decide all fate.
    You triumph over all our rites.
    Who can explain why you go on so?

    Poem by Enheduanna, translation by Daniela Gioseffi

    Soprano - Katy Stephan, music by Jerry Gerber, 2003.

    PLAY


  • Beautiful, moving, original, extremely well interpreted. Thank you!

    Paolo


  • Hi Jerry,

    Writing about war(fare) and its dramatic consequences is always difficult: either in words or in music, the risk of overacting and dramatising always exists. Here, I certainly like the poem, but most of all the way you've put it to music. All the fierce elements are present, but never overdone. It's not the 'epic' search for more drama, but rather a emotional expression of your view of the text. Bravo, wonderfully done. Brilliant interpretation by the singer as well.

    Obviously the war as a topic is not so popular on this forum. I've posted my "Last Post - 1918" some days ago and no one has left a comment so far...

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic orchestrated song!

    Max


  • last edited
    last edited

    @Max Hamburg said:

    Hi Jerry,

    Writing about war(fare) and its dramatic consequences is always difficult: either in words or in music, the risk of overacting and dramatising always exists. Here, I certainly like the poem, but most of all the way you've put it to music. All the fierce elements are present, but never overdone. It's not the 'epic' search for more drama, but rather a emotional expression of your view of the text. Bravo, wonderfully done. Brilliant interpretation by the singer as well.

    Obviously the war as a topic is not so popular on this forum. I've posted my "Last Post - 1918" some days ago and no one has left a comment so far...

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic orchestrated song!

    Max

    I agree.  In some ways war and art are complete opposites.  In art, we channel our aggression, fears, doubts and other impulses and instincts into creativity, into the attempt to make something meaningful, beautiful and symbolic.  In war, we act out our worst impulses and regress to animal-like behavior as though somehow we're going to solve complex social, economic and ethical problem by murdering one another in groups.   War is an unpopular subject even though my country (U.S.) has been engaged in it pretty much every day I've been alive and there is no end in sight.  


  • last edited
    last edited

    @Max Hamburg said:

    Hi Jerry,

    Writing about war(fare) and its dramatic consequences is always difficult: either in words or in music, the risk of overacting and dramatising always exists. Here, I certainly like the poem, but most of all the way you've put it to music. All the fierce elements are present, but never overdone. It's not the 'epic' search for more drama, but rather a emotional expression of your view of the text. Bravo, wonderfully done. Brilliant interpretation by the singer as well.

    Obviously the war as a topic is not so popular on this forum. I've posted my "Last Post - 1918" some days ago and no one has left a comment so far...

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic orchestrated song!

    Max

    I agree.  In some ways war and art are complete opposites.  In art, we channel our aggression, fears, doubts and other, more positive impulses and instincts into creativity, into the attempt to make something meaningful, beautiful and expressive.  In war, we act out our worst impulses and regress to animal-like behavior as though somehow we're going to solve complex social, economic and ethical problems by murdering one another in groups.   War is an unpopular subject even though my country (U.S.) has been engaged in it pretty much every day I've been alive and there is no end in sight.  


  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on