INTERVIEW- PATRICK CASSIDY.







 A renowned Irish born composer of great distinction and reputation, Patrick Cassidy came into prominence with the release of the Children of Lir, (the setting of the great Legend) the first major symphonic work written in the Irish language. Recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and Choir, it remained at Number One in the Irish Classical Charts for over a year.
Studying piano and harp from an early age, Patrick developed a singular style of composition, involving lush melodies and layered orchestration.


We are proud to chat with Patrick Cassidy, and with the highest artistic enthusiasm, we want to share it with all of you.

For those who are unfamiliar with his work, we recommend you the listening and enjoyment, always from the serious side of Art.


-         END TITLES (ET): Mr. Cassidy, we are specially grateful for your immediate disposition to talk a little bit about yourself. In End Titles we love Art, and even we practice it, and we are aware of the special and deep vital conception of artists. We would like you to talk briefly about how a genius of music like Patrick Cassidy conceives the man´s existence. Your intense relationship with Maths and the deep spirituallity of your compositions create a really explosive mix. How does everything fit?

-         PATRICK CASSIDY (PC): Thank you for your kind words. I love music and consider myself to be very fortunate in what I do with my life. I did study mathematics at University mainly because my father felt it was important to have something to fall back on. I do not regret it.

I suppose my music is quite spiritual and I have written a lot of liturgical and semi-liturgical pieces like 'Famine Remembrance' and The 'Children of Lir'. Maybe that was the reason John Michael McDonagh chose me to score his film 'Calvary'.





-         ET: Could you talk to us about the music you would buy and listen at home? About the classical and modern music that you like, and if you follow specially any kind of art such as Painting, Sculpture, etc?

-         PC: I love classical music. My favourite composer is Bach but I also love Handel and Mozart. Of the 20th century composers I am very influenced by Elgar. Also the Russian composers.

Growing up in Ireland all the members of my family played music, both Classical and Irish traditional. One of my aunties was a very good painter as was one of my sisters. I had no talent in this area. But I do love all art; painting, sculptor and literature. I also enjoy reading history books when I take a break from work.

-         ET: In End Titles we would like to seize the opportunity to ask you for your opinion about present Film Music, completely opposite to yours and based on technology and commercial results. What is your opinion on this regard?

-         PC: I now live in Los Angeles and this is the hub of film music. Very talented people come here from all over the world. So I do admire my fellow composers whatever their niche. I myself have a very classical approach. But in film music we are expected to be versatile and competent to compose in many styles.

I do think that film music has become a little generic in recent times. But I also think there can be opportunities to break with this trend. Thankfully people are always looking for something new and different.




-         ET: We are releasing your words along with a review of your latest score for movies, ‘Calvary’, a gem that, according to our opinion, should have been awarded all kinds of international prizes. How was your participation in this film? Could you tell us about your relationship with director J.M. McDonagh as far as the music you composed is concerned, or any anecdote about the process?

-         PC: Thank you so much, I am very proud of this film. An exceptional script and powerful performances from the great cast of actors. I liked working with John Michael. He was quite hands off but also very adamant about what he wanted. A difficult balance! There was a great atmosphere in post production. Everyone wanted to give their very best because we all loved the movie.

The movie itself is about the great social upheaval in Ireland and we see this through the eyes of a Catholic priest. I remember Pope Francis was actually elected while we were working in post production. We all wondered how the Church would react to the film. I feel it is a deeply spiritual movie and full of thought provoking allegory. The reaction from the public and critics, and amazingly the Church, was astonishing and beyond my expectations.



-         ET: End Titles loves Classical Music. Your education about it is laudable and your influences are obvious, getting close to clasicism in a wonderful way. Could you tell us about your classical likings, authors that you consider most importants in Music history, or essential works?

-         PC: I already touched briefly on this subject. I am most influenced by the great choral liturgical music of the Baroque and Classical periods. Bach's Cantatas are, in my opinion, the closest thing to perfection.

I recently composed a setting of the Latin Mass and as part of the process found myself studying the great Masses - Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Mozart's Mass in C Minor and of course Bach's Mass in B Minor. For me these are essential works.

-         ET: You have several and always outstanding collaborations with great Lisa Gerrard. The quality that you both together achieve is essential for any follower of Art, and this is something really difficult as you are both highest-level composers. Could you tell us about this collaboration? What are Patrick Cassidy and Lisa Gerrard working together like?

-         PC: I travelled to Australia to work on an album, which became 'Immortal Memory', with Lisa. I spent 3 months there initially, living with her family; and later a return trip to finish the album. It was very rewarding. Lisa has an amazing and unique talent. We tried to explore some unfamiliar territory. For instance on one of the pieces Lisa sings in Gaelic.

It has been quite a while since I last worked with Lisa. Maybe we will do something together in the future. We are great friends.

-         ET: Finally, could you tell us and all the lovers of your music in End Titles, what your next projects in mind are?

-         PC: I have just finished scoring '1916 The Irish Rebellion'. It is a documentary coinciding with the centenary of the rebellion that led to Irish Independence. It is narrated by Liam Neeson. The premiere will be at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on 16th March with a live orchestra and Liam Neeson also narrating live. The soundtrack will be release in the new year.

I have also finished writing a new opera titled 'Dante'. The opera relates the story of the great poets life. We are planning a premiere for 2017.




-         ET: Thank you so much for responding to us so kindly. It’s a real pleasure for us to talk with a genius of present Music such as Patrick Cassidy.

-         PC: And thank you. It has been a pleasure.



END TITLES. DECEMBER. 2015.



SOUNDTRACK- CALVARY- PATRICK CASSIDY.



  9 out of 10

CALVARY (2014)
Patrick Cassidy




It’s complicated for any lover of Art and Music not to approach in an almost abrupt way the artistic career of the Irish composer, doubtlessly one of (unknown) geniuses of Art in its full dimension. Very close to the nuances of absolute orchestral minimalism and maker of drastical feelings, Cassidy maintains in his whole work a study and an intellectual meditation enviable by any artist and within the reach of few of them. Nevertheless, tough to listen to and understand.

Remembered (or intuited) by many thanks to his magnificent aria for ‘Hannibal’ soundtrack, ‘Vide cor Meum’, (although with masterworks and exuberant collaborations with the best voice of present scene, Lisa Gerrard, on his back), Cassidy offers in ‘Calvary’ a transcendental and thought-out score, absolute reflection of Father James Lavelle’s state of mind and vital disquietude, maintained in all its extension by constant, simple and melodic notes. A few minutes after the story is started, we will understand its form (regardless of the meaning): the composer couldn’t make a complex structure when it refers itself to the life of a man between rustic rooms, speeches on kindness and right intentions. Equally being the supporting point of past memories and melancholy for those beloved who are not present anymore.




John Michael McDonagh, the director, starts increasingly linking up a story that, somewhat disjointed in the beginning, makes the viewer’s attention focus on the intellectual scope smartly. So many characters, visits and preachings from the priest lead us, with scattered small fragments of the score, to think only of the priest, who lives sad because of a tragical event from the past, that later on, when all the stories converge (in the town’s bar), we can understand. The use, during the first part of the film, of typical Irish Folk songs in mundane situations and the use of the original score in the most substantial moments, show us a fundamental basis in the film: the vital weariness and the reluctance for existence on one side, and the vulgarity that life offers on the other side, when both sides come together. Cassidy shows up with the voice (as an important and metaphysical soloist instrument), making clear the path his work is going to take (‘Memories fade’). It’s the first thing we listen. Gently, the songs chosen by the director will be inserted along with the mentioned small excerpts of the themes composed by Cassidy. The artist’s ability is huge, adopting the form of a musical quietude and temperance not very often listened before, even in the two highest sequences of the story. The first one takes place at the midtime of the incidents, with Father Lavelle assisting a mortally wounded man and comforting his wife at the same time. It’s then that the second ‘Calvary’ theme, dramatical, archetype of Beauty, shows up in a powerful way and for the first time. Once achieved his presentation in the film, Cassidy (with the vital and mundane stories of the characters of the town already knotted) developes his maximum presence and ability in the whole. Patiently, without showing up, the other important moment awaits, referred now to the earthly field (the priest relapses again in alcohol, as one of the non-original songs for the films is listened) and its appearance in the end is absolute.




Calvary’s ending couldn’t be explained in a few words. What the composer reaches to induce in that moment, in the last sequence, is so powerful that a dramatic event gets to be treated through loveliness without any kind of fissure or danger (‘Say your prayers’).
The risk is maximum: the brilliant artist starts the moment with a couple of held high notes and the bass sounds announcing the voice coming. Terrible, truthful, tragical, sublime... No matter which position you have maintained during the film: sadness, tenderness, pain... they will be shaken out of you by listening a single note. In the opinion of who writes this lines, one of the most overwhelmingly controlled by music story-endings. Absolute beauty. Ethereal lyricism.

In summary, we are before an exceptional work, a sacral minimalism that, just because it is, is not often recognised as it deserves, something that grants it an even bigger appeal. Doubtlessly one of the best compositions in the last years and an artist and work that any lover of minority music should listen to.





LISTEN TO IT IF...: you like extremely calm music. It’s not a relaxing score or something similar. Get ready to go through a deep level of musical thought.

DON’T LISTEN TO IT IF...: you hate moments of superior artistic study.

END TITLES RECOMMENDATION: essential modern work.

OTHER RECOMMENDED WORKS FROM THE COMPOSER: ‘Hannibal’, ‘Immortal memory’.

MARK: 9 out of 10



END TITLES, DECEMBER 2015.



ENTREVISTA- PATRICK CASSIDY.



 


PATRICK CASSIDY (IRLANDA, 1956).

Compositor y artista de una filosofía espirutual musical muy seria, estudió piano y harpa a temprana edad. Estudioso matemático en la Universidad de Limerick, tras sus pasos universitarios estrenó su primera obra, ''Cruit'' (1988), a la que seguirían otras siempre orientadas hacia una línea clásica con la que en todo momento se ha expresado. Residente en Los Ángeles, Patrick trabaja como compositor para cine y orquestador, arreglista y compositor de música contemporánea, consiguiendo éxitos de reconocimiento mundial, como su gloriosa aria ''Vide cor Meum''.





Segunda entrevista en End Titles, contando esta vez con un genio de la música contemporánea, siempre manteniendo una línea clásica, minimalista y filosófica dentro de sus composiciones. En el blog estamos orgullosos de poder charlar con Patrick Cassidy y queremos, con entusiasmo artístico máximo, compartirlo con todos vosotros y recomendar, para quien desconozca la obra de este autor, su escucha y disfrute, siempre desde el lado más serio del Arte.


END TITLES (ET): Le saludamos especialmente y agradecemos su disposición inmediata a conversar un poco sobre usted. En End Titles amamos el Arte, incluso lo practicamos, y somos conscientes de la especial y profunda concepción vital de los artistas. Nos gustaría que nos hablase brevemente de cómo un genio de la música como Patrick Cassidy concibe la existencia del Hombre. Incluso su intensa relación con las Matemáticas y la profunda espiritualidad de sus composiciones crean una mezcla realmente explosiva. ¿Cómo se resume o, incluso, encaja todo?

PATRICK CASSIDY (PC): Gracias por la amabilidad de vuestras palabras. Amo la música y me considero muy afortunado con lo que hago en mi vida. Estudié matemáticas en la Universidad, principalmente porque mi padre sentía que era importante para tener algo a lo que recurrir. No me arrepiento de ello.
    Supongo que mi música es muy espiritual y he escrito muchas piezas litúrgicas y semilitúrgicas, como ‘’Famine Remembrance’’ y ‘’The Children of Lir’’. Quizá fue esta la razón por la cual John Michael McDonagh me eligió para componer la música de su película ‘’Calvary’’.




ET: ¿Puede hablarnos de la música que usted compra y escucha en su casa? ¿De sus gustos musicales clásicos y modernos o de si sigue especialmente algún tipo de Arte como la pintura, la escultura, etc?

PC: Me encanta la música clásica. Mi compositor favorito es Bach pero también me gusta Handel y Mozart. De los compositores del siglo XX estoy muy influenciado por Elgar y también por los compositores rusos.
    Crecí en Irlanda y todos los miembros de mi familia tocaban música, tanto clásica como tradicional irlandesa. Una de mis tías fue una muy buena pintora, así como también lo fue una de mis hermanas. Yo no he tenido talento en este campo, pero me encanta todo el arte, tanto la pintura como la escultura y la literatura. También disfruto leyendo libros de historia cuando me tomo un descanso en el trabajo.




ET: En End Titles no queremos desaprovechar la ocasión para pedirle su opinión respecto a la música de cine en la actualidad, drásticamente contraria a la suya, basada en la tecnología y los resultados comerciales. ¿Qué opinión tiene a este respecto?

PC: Actualmente vivo en Los Ángeles, que es el principal eje de la música de cine. Aquí llega gente de todo el mundo con muchísimo talento, así que admiro a mis colegas de profesión sea cual sea la posición que ocupen. Yo tengo un planteamiento muy clásico, pero de nosotros se espera que seamos versátiles y capaces de componer en diferentes estilos.
    Pienso que la música de cine se ha vuelto algo genérica actualmente pero también pienso que puede haber oportunidades para romper con esta tendencia. Afortunadamente siempre hay personas buscando algo nuevo y distinto.


ET: Acompañamos sus palabras con el estudio de su última partitura para cine, ‘’Calvary’’, una joya que, a nuestro juicio, debería haber conseguido todo tipo de premios internacionales. ¿Cómo fue su participación en este filme? ¿Nos podría contar su relación con el director, J.M. McDonagh, siempre respecto a la música que usted compuso o, incluso, alguna anécdota del proceso llevado a cabo?

PC: Muchísimas gracias, estoy muy orgulloso de esta película. Un guion excepcional y grandes actuaciones de un gran reparto. Me encantó trabajar con John Michael, no intervino demasiado pero también fue muy firme en relación a lo que quería, ¡un difícil equilibrio! Hubo gran ambiente en post producción, todo el mundo quería dar lo máximo de sí mismo ya que estábamos encantados con la película. Ésta trata sobre la gran agitación social en Irlanda y podemos verlo a través de la mirada de un sacerdote católico. Recuerdo que el Papa Francisco fue elegido mientras estábamos trabajando en post producción. Todos nos preguntábamos cómo reaccionaría la Iglesia ante la película. Siento que es una obra profundamente espiritual y llena de estimulantes alegorías. La reacción de público y crítica, y sorprendentemente de la Iglesia, fue asombrosa y sobrepasó mis expectativas.






ET: End Titles ama la música clásica. Su formación al respecto es encomiable y sus influencias son evidentes, acercándose al clasicismo de forma maravillosa. ¿Podría comentarnos sus gustos clásicos, autores que considera más importantes en la historia de la música o, incluso, obras fundamentales?

PC: Mencioné algo brevemente con anterioridad, estoy más influenciado por la gran música litúrgica coral de los períodos clásico y barroco. Las cantatas de Bach son, en mi opinión, lo más cercano a la perfección. Recientemente he compuesto un arreglo de la Misa en latín, y como parte del proceso me encontré estudiando las grandes Misas- ‘’Missa Solemnis’’ de Beethoven, ‘’Misa en C Menor’’ de Mozart y, por supuesto, la ‘’Misa en B menor’’ de Bach. Para mí, éstas son obras fundamentales.




ET: Sus colaboraciones con la gran Lisa Gerrard son numerosas y siempre excepcionales. La calidad que ambos consiguen juntos es imprescindible para cualquier seguidor del Arte, y esto es algo realmente complicado siendo, ambos, compositores de gran talla. ¿Nos podría contar algo sobre esta  colaboración? ¿Cómo son Patrick Cassidy y Lisa Gerrard trabajando juntos?

PC: Viajé a Australia para trabajar con Lisa en un disco, que se convirtió en ‘’Immortal Memory’’. Inicialmente estuve allí tres meses, viviendo con su familia; y después hice un viaje de regreso para finalizar el álbum. Fue muy gratificante, Lisa posee un talento increíble y único. Hemos tratado de explorar ámbitos desconocidos, por ejemplo, en uno de los temas Lisa canta en gáelico.
    Ha pasado bastante tiempo desde la última vez que trabajé con Lisa. Quizá hagamos algo juntos en el futuro, somos grandes amigos.




ET: Por último, ¿podría contarnos en End Titles, para todos los aficionados a su música, qué próximos proyectos tiene en mente?

PC: Acabo de terminar la partitura de ‘’1916, The Irish Rebellion’’. Es un documental que coincide con el centenario de la rebelión que condujo a la independencia irlandesa. Está narrado por Liam Neeson, se estrenará en el National Concert Hall de Dublín el 16 de marzo con una orquesta en directo y también Liam Neeson narrando en vivo. La banda sonora se editará el próximo año 2016. También he terminado de escribir una nueva ópera titulada ‘’Dante’’, que narra la historia de la vida del gran poeta. Estamos planeando su estreno para el año 2017.


ET: Muchas gracias por atendernos tan amablemente, para nosotros es un auténtico placer haber charlado con un genio de la música actual como es Patrick Cassidy.

PC: Muchas gracias, ha sido un placer.


Antonio Miranda. Diciembre 2015.