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Catalogue des Errances Bibliques

Digital Sheet Music [PDF]: Score

Catalogue des Errances Bibliques : Symphony in No Need of an Orchestra, for mixed keyboards, percussion and narrator [eScore] / Michael Kieran Harvey.

by Michael Kieran Harvey (2019)

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  • Instrumentation: Spoken voice, keyboards (min 8 players: 2 Grand Pianos; at least 4 full-keyboard synthesizers/electric pianos; Theremin, harpsichord and celeste or similar electronic sounds) ; percussion (min 4 players: 2x Timpani, snare drum, tenor drum, bass drum, cymbals, drum set, electronic/latin drum set, tubular bells, glockenspiel, marimba, vibraphone (with bow), 5x log drums (or tom-toms), anvil, 5x temple blocks, high and low gongs, tam-tam, swanee whistle or sim, crotales (D, F, F#, A), ratchet, large frame drum/dumbeck (amplified), strings (optional): electric bass, amplified cello (both can be substituted with keyboards if necessary).
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"You can't run a country

By a book of religion

Not by a heap

Or a lump or a smidgeon

Of foolish rules

Of ancient date

Designed to make

You all feel great

While you fold, spindle

And mutilate

Those unbelievers

From a neighbouring state"

Frank Zappa, "Dumb All Over" (1981)

It came as a delicious and furtive surprise to me as an 8-year-old altar boy to discover that Christ's blood tasted, apparently, the same as the Woodley's Cream Sherry I found in the sacristy. This set me wondering about the veracity of the contents of the Bible, something that Catholics are instructed to believe is the infallible word of God. It takes a certain type of dogged personality to be willing to sift through such a text for either fallibilities or infallibilities - most Christians simply accept what clerics tell them is in the bible and get on with their busy lives.
Happily, C. Dennis McKinsey devoted much of his life and his energies as a broadcaster to the task of uncovering "biblical errancy", and his forensic book The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy (Prometheus Books, 1995) is the result. In the spirit of the musical The Book of Mormon (Parker/Lopez/Stone, 2011) and with an affectionate nod to Messiaen's Catalogue d'Oiseaux (1958), Catalogue des Errances Bibliques whimsically reinterprets each of the 25 chapters of The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy as a homage to its punctilious author. In keeping with McKinsey's low-budget resourcefulness, Catalogue des Errances Bibliques is scored not for symphony orchestra, but for two nondescript keyboards.

There is also a re-interpretation of the work for nondescript keyboards and percussion. The text Bible Stories was composed specifically for this version by Dr Arjun von Caemmerer. (MKH).

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 digital (PDF) facsimile score (189p. -- B4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Virtuosic writing, high ensemble synchronisation and improvising skill required

Duration: 65 min.

Dedicated to Arjun Von Caemmerer

Commission info: Commissioned by RMIT Sonic Arts Collection.

First performance 25 May 19. Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne

Includes programme notes, performance directions, and copy of texts.

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Jazz-rock, "avant-pop", alternative rock genres: Spike Jones, Frank Zappa, John Zorn, Eastern European rock.

Typeset edition.

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