Farwell My Good I. Forever : (excerpt from String Quartet)
by Lyle Chan (2007)
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Farwell My Good I. Forever was composed across 2006-7,
and it's my farewell to a part of myself, to a mask I was
wearing. I had built myself an enormous, successful career as one
of the leading classical music arts administrators in the
country, working with any and all the best artists I wanted and
winning awards for it. The mask said I was living the dream life
- whereas the truth was that I had become what the great
creativity teacher Julia Cameron calls a 'shadow artist' -
someone who secretly wants to be an artist but instead lives in
the shadow of actual practising artists.
André Berthiaume wrote, 'We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.' I had come to that point, where I had to confront the fact that I was doing no one, not myself and certainly not the musicians and audiences who love music, any favours by pretending I wasn't a talented composer. I was. The reason people are afraid of their talent is both mysterious and understandable. Marianne Williamson sums it up wonderfully: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. … There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you…. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
Writing my massive and lengthy String Quartet, which includes Farwell My Good I. Forever, was how I proved to myself that I was meant to write great, glorious music. Like all goodbyes Farwell is also a recognition of new things, amongst them my acceptance that the most profound contribution I could make to music was actually writing it.
The title comes from a Christopher Tye viol consort work, from which I quote its closing 2 bars. I've retained the title's unstandardized spelling, but it would be modernized as "Farewell, my good one, forever". It was premiered in November 2010 when the Sydney string quartet Acacia gave four performances of it in their concert season.
Instrumentation: String quartet.
Duration: 9 min.
First performance: by Acacia Quartet — 21 Nov 10. Hunters Hill School, Sydney
Performances of this work
28 Nov 10: Humph Hall, Allambie Heights NSW. Featuring Acacia Quartet.
21 Nov 10: Hunters Hill School, Sydney. Featuring Acacia Quartet.
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