Fiona Linnane | Magic

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by Fiona Linnane

Magic is a collection of works for solo piano by Irish composer Fiona Linnane inspired by the magic of everyday things - broken merry go rounds, wee Scottish nephews and watching scary movies on a sunny day.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Íosla
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
1:30 $1.50
2. Cara
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
1:13 $1.50
3. Saoirse
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
1:26 $1.50
4. Rory Meets Tom
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
1:47 $1.50
5. The Darkest Moment
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
5:34 $1.50
6. Danse Macabre
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
3:04 $1.50
7. Merry You Go Round Me
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
2:08 $1.50
8. I Won't Forget a Single Day
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
2:40 $1.50
9. Magic
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
2:28 $1.50
10. Níl in Aon Rud Ach Seal
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
5:35 $1.50
11. A Gold Star Beside Your Name
Fiona Linnane & Aoife Chawke
1:58 $1.50
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Words from the composer

Íosla, Cara, Saoirse and Rory meets Tom are from sets of ‘Little pieces for little people’ which were written to mark each child’s arrival. Each piece has the date of birth of each child hidden in the music using degrees of the scale to indicate it. The pieces also aim to capture something of the character of each child - so as Rory and Tom are the composer’s two scottish nephews there is a wee Scottish sounding motif throughout.

The darkest moment was written on a beautiful sunny day! Pianist Aoife Chawke suggested Fiona watch the silent movie Nosferatu to get inspiration for some darker, creepier music. She watched the film while sitting at the piano improvising on a few ideas with the sun shining outdoors!

Danse macabre takes its name from the late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life, the Dance of Death unites all. You can see representations in medieval art with a string of unlikely characters (typically popes, emperors, kings, labourers and children) following ‘death’ in a grisly dance.

Merry you go round me was written for Fiona’s friend Máire Reidy. A few years ago while they were on a wonderful trip to Paris they came across a broken merry go round - “We could not resist hopping on and had more fun pretending it was going round than I think we would have had if it actually was!” This piece is about happiness and laughter.

“My dad asked me to write a piece for my mum. He mentioned that they both like the Kinks song ‘Thank you for the days’ so for I won’t forget a single day I took the chord progression and some of the tune from that song and mixed it the opening motif of Handel’s ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ of which I subjected my family to loud renditions on piano throughout my teenage years. The contrast of the peaceful opening and closing section with the loud abounding middle section is trying to get across that time of day when the kids are just home from school and everything (until bedtime) is MANIC.”

Magic is the oldest piece in the book, composed in 2007 as a twelve tone piece this needed some reworking for inclusion in the album. Twelve tone means you use every note in the chromatic scale so there is no real sense of ‘key’ in the piece. The piece suggests the more sinister side of magic - black magic - as if a spirit or power has been conjured up to dance among us momentarily before slinking back into the unknown again.

Níl in aon rud ach seal translates loosely as there is nothing in anything but a period of time. The piece gets across the idea of timelessness and drifts along with statements coming in and out but ultimately it just marks the passing of time.

A gold star beside your name was written for Carol Deedigan, a friend of the composers - Carol has a saying if someone does something nice she’ll say ‘I’ll put a gold star beside your name’. The piece is bristling with energy and positivity and fun and brilliance - just like Carol. There’s a little ‘star’ reference at the end, see if you can spot it.

Fiona Linnane 2014



to write a review

Maurice Walsh

Get some Magic in your life!
Fiona Linnane is a composer currently living in County Limerick. A native of Clare, Fiona has been involved in numerous musical projects. So many in fact, that it is hard to believe that this is her first full album. From being the brains behind the formation of Coma Limerick to creating a musical trail situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Burren, it is almost a miracle that Fiona has actually found the time to get her compositions down on disc. Well, maybe not a miracle, but there was definitely a touch of magic along the way. Besides being the title of this album, there is definitely magic in the composition of these beautiful pieces. The opening 4 compositions on the album, that were all written for newborn additions to her extended family and friends, ease the listener gently in. The pieces all have a beautiful melody, and an almost innocent quality that stems from their subjects. The structures of these pieces were all written around the date of birth of the subject of each piece, which are hidden in the music using degrees of the scale.
After these pieces finish, the middle period of the album begins with the Darkest Moment. It carries a slow pace, reminiscent of a late night glass of wine poring over the memories of the day and acts as a bridge between the opening relative lightness of the opening 4 tracks to the dark heart of the album, Danse Macabre. The unusual time signature and the slightly menacing notes gives the listener a slight sense of unease, with some passages carrying a sense of ominous foreboding. One would almost be reminded of John Williams’ score for Jaws.
The listener is let of the hook with the following track, Merry you go round me, written especially for a dear friend of Fiona. The piece evokes a strong sense of warmth, of hugs, memories and love. It leads into another beautiful track, I won’t forget a single day, and this also succeeds in conjuring up feelings of companionship and has a nostalgic quality to it.
The title track of the album brings the listener back to a sense of “what’s going to happen next??” with Magic and its use of every note in the chromatic scale (no, me neither, ask your old piano teacher). It’s a haunting piece and the listener is never sure of where the piece is heading. They are completely in the hands of the artist.
The penultimate piece on the album, Níl in aon rud ach seal, is a slow brooding piece and the longest on the album. A deceptively simple sounding piece, it grows as it progresses, providing an almost cinematic soundscape that washes over those who listen.
The album ends with the sound of pure joy, A gold star beside your name, and cannot fail to leave the listener with a big stupid grin on their faces. A richly rewarding listen, Magic will definitely weave its spell over all those who listen.