Luke Ferguson | Opus 1: An Oracular Opus

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Opus 1: An Oracular Opus

by Luke Ferguson

To the music student I could be called neo-romantic, and to the listener I say I write spiritually and emotionally charged music according to Jesus' revelation to my heart.
Genre: Spiritual: Inspirational
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Cry of the Prophet
3:35 $0.99
2. The Unity of the Spirit
4:53 $0.99
3. The Struggle for Vigilance
5:11 $0.99
4. The Child of Grace
4:36 $0.99
5. The Cross of Christ
4:37 $0.99
6. The Kingdom of Heaven
3:22 $0.99
7. The Glory of God
4:47 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Quick history: singing since age 2, playing piano and guitar since 14, composing since 15, Music Theory and Composition degree in 2011.

This album was going to be my recital piece for graduating college. I had performers, orchestrations, practices, but I failed my recital check. I mopped up the devastation by submitting old pieces with which I had success in the past. I graduated, but this work never saw the light of day, except one track "The Cross of Christ."

In my walk with God, I made a commitment to Him to write this opus. And here I had written everything, but it remained unperformed. So, I sat on it a while, improving it now and then. Meanwhile, God told me that I was to continue to "Write music." But after the failure of the recital check, I wanted to throw away this work. Something unknown, maybe providence brought me back to it occasionally.

I recently met with a musical buddy of mine who loves Jesus, and he encouraged me to obey God by getting my music out there. I was moved to action, and this album is where I will start in fulfillment of a promise I made to God, the Father of Jesus Christ.

"An Oracular Opus" is an instrumental, chamber music collection of seven pieces for seven instruments (instrument groups). I wrote it as a structured revelation of God's vision for His people at the college where I was currently attending. The pieces are meant to be listened to one after the other, and adds up to about 30 minutes of music. My head of the music program said that my "program music" should be careful not to be too preachy in the program notes, but I'm not concerned right now about what she thinks of what I write here.

The first piece, The Cry of the Prophet, utilizes the whole ensemble of flute, oboe, clarinet and string quartet. For music nerds, the piece begins with a "harmonic converse" of C minor and A major to represent a fiery outcry to gain the listener's ear. Then the three purposes of prophecy according to 1 Corinthians 14:3 are reviewed. The oboe takes up the Exhortation, the flute takes up Edification, and the clarinet, Consolation Then they come back together to call the Bride of Christ to listen.

The second piece, The Unity of the Spirit, which utilizes flute, oboe, clarinet, and viola. The music unfolds and moves around in Db with what others have told me musically "sounds like unity" But then toward the end of the piece, the Db gives way to Dm, and ends somewhere between them as the consonant unity starts to crumble into dissonance.

The third piece is: The Struggle for Vigilance. This rather volatile work took a long time to settle on that name, and I'm still unsettled, but the piece is rather unsettling. It pits the first violin, flute and viola against the oboe, violin 2, and cello as a demonstration of good versus evil. Good is shown to be courageous in the face of defeat and threats, and evil is ever working to brashly cause discord, discouragement. Lots of dissonance in this piece alternating between Dm and Fm, some haphazard, but mostly intentional, and the piece has a climax of a final throwing down, and sul ponticello echoes of the battle smooth into readiness for the next piece.

The fourth, central piece is The Child of Grace. This initial composition was written for choir, and has words to it that represented what I wanted my college to understand: That if you are in Jesus Christ, the Child of Grace, then you are also a child of grace. There is four-part harmony on the voices, oboe, clarinet, violin, and cello accompaniment doubling the voice parts. This piece is a very consonant contrast to the cantankerous piece before, and a reverse of the harmonic converse at the beginning of the opus with Eb and F#minor. For the hidden-structure enthusiasts, this piece also represents the top of a thematic lambda-chiasm which these seven pieces make in total.

Fifth, is "The Cross of Christ," The only of these works that has been performed live. The recital check said all the other pieces were imbalanced, but this string quartet would qualify. The four string instruments begin chromatically outlining the jagged frame of the cross, Fm and Am paint color pictures of the crucifixion of Jesus, his agony, the sorrow of heaven, and the peace He brought with his death on the cross. The ending hearkens to "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber, as a composer's tribute to one of the most beautiful musical works ever written.

Sixth, "The Kingdom of Heaven." which (enthusiasts) parallels with the second song. The other three instruments of the ensemble return for a woodwind trio largely in the Key of G with a small, modulated, secondary key area of F#. Any students of music are welcome to give me feedback about how a modulation down a key one half step sounds in this piece. The piece is jolly and spritely in contrast to the gloom and sorrow of the previous piece. Marching victory.

Seventh, and finally, is "The Glory of God." All the Ensemble returns for the conclusion of the opus, as a Harmonic Converse now totally is reversed as A major goes back to Cm, with an extemporaneous key area of F, for reasons I still don't understand. Never the less, the unfolding, the crescendos and the coda at the end is the end of the opus, and travels the full length of the twelve tone row by ending it's glorious climax as high as it can reach at B Major!

The opus has words, but this is a submission of the music only, which I have enjoyed listening to these six years and now I wish to share it with you. If I get much feedback through this medium, I will work to put an album with the words added.

May you be encouraged by this composition of a young man who sought to depend heavily on God, so God could show Himself through him.



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