Julie Giroux: Culloden - Movements I and II
Culloden - Movements I and II
Scotland just that one word brings to mind the sounds of bagpipes, fiddles and drums, the rolling green hills and moors; the dark, still waters of the lochs; kilts and plaids
a kaleidoscope of colorful sounds and
pictures. This movement attempts to capture just that only it is the Scotland of 1745 that you will hear. They are songs about love, war, whiskey, and women; places and people long gone or changed. Woven into a movement
that sounds like an aerial overview of Scotland, these short 8 and 16 bar tunes/songs originally had no accompaniment or only that of a single drone. Most were with endless lyrics. Here, they have been brought back to
life in a depth and understanding that they must have had all along. These melodies sprang onto my score pages decked in full regalia, wearing the plaids of their ancestors. Simple they may be, but pull on your heart
strings they will, for they pulled on mine something fierce. For the most part, I let them be.
"Bloody Culloden," so justly nicknamed, left in its wake a river of destruction and death. So many lives were ruined or changed forever; it affected husbands, sons, wives and daughters and a way of life that would never be again. "I Hae Grat for Tho I Kend" is a lamentation for them. In order to compose this particular work, I had to draw not only from their losses, but also my own. The opening line (in 3/4) is underscored by the Latin/Gaelic death chant (in 4/4) which is accompanied by the tubular bells (church bells). The middle section sounds almost hopeful for a reason. It represents the "good" that comes from such an experience, in addition to the good we remember of the departed. The movement is set in an order of dealing with grief: the actual funeral, the anger, the weeping, the fond memories and the acceptance.