The poetry of George Boole has inspired Robert Creed, a final year student in the B.Mus degree program at UCC, to compose a slow air in his memory.
'George Boole's Prayer Remembered'
Robert Creed is a fourth year music student in UCC. Robert, as a final year student, has graced the halls and walked in the corridors Boole would have frequented and has found the whole celebration of George Boole, UCC’s first professor of mathematics, to be inspirational. For the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the death of Boole, a poem written by him was published at the back of the Choral Evensong booklet. Robert heard the poem The Communion of Saints and it triggered something inside that compelled him to compose a piece of music for it. Robert explains “when he (George Boole) looks in to the future, the glory of God fills this earth and evil is finally defeated. The idea of God’s goodness being infinite, coupled with the image of a ‘linked chain of gold’ surrounding the world compelled to compose music”.
Roberts’s instrument of choice is the tin whistle and the composition was played in public for the very first time at the launch of the George Boole Chronicles in March this year. No stranger to the stage, Robert has performed in the past for the President at the European conference for teachers of the blind and visually impaired. This is not the first of Roberts compositions that have been recorded, two of his compositions can be found on ‘A Musical Vision, The Blind Tradition’. Robert’s love of music he attributes to a school friend in St. Josephs School who, at the tender age of 8 , composed his first piece of music. Music holds a special place in Roberts’s life as he is visually impaired and has synaesthesia this means that he actually sees colour when he hears music.
Robert expands on his new composition and the journey that the piece takes him on. “The music eventually takes me to a place of hope and comfort. It is made on patterns of low and high notes to represent our struggles on earth while looking to a much greater reality where the glory of the Lord resides. I finish the piece assured of the security that living an eternal life for the Lord provides for Christians. Like the prayer, this idea is combined with a golden image”.
This special piece of music has now been recorded. Robert, together with another UCC talent, harpist Fiachra Ó Corragáin have ensured that the air of George Boole’s Prayer Remembered is available to us all to enjoy.
'George Boole's Prayer Remembered'
Slow Air: 'George Boole's Prayer Remembered' Composed by Robert Creed.
Performed by Robert Creed (tin whistle) and Fiachra Ó Corragáin (harp).
Recorded and mixed by Donncha Moynihan at The Rise Studio, Cork.
Produced by Mel Mercier
Robert Creed is in the final year of his B.Mus Degree at the Department of Music, UCC.
Fiachra Ó Corragáin is in the final year of his PhD studies at the Department of Music, UCC.
‘The Communion of Saints’
When the light of day declineth,
And the fields in shadow lie,
And the dewy Hesper shineth
Fairest in the western sky,
Visions in the twilight rise,
Night unseals the spirit’s eyes.
Then the dead, in thought arriving,
From the far-off regions bright,
Seem to aid our earnest striving
For the holy and the right;
Even they who sailed before
O’er this ocean to that shore.
Yes, the dead of all the nations
Who, in patient hope and sure,
Laboured in their generations,
For the Lovely and the Pure;
Heavenly sympathising yield
To their followers in the field.
Seeker after Truth’s deep fountain,
Delver in the soul’s deep mine,
Toiler up the rugged mountain
To the upper Light Divine,
Think, beyond the stars there be
Who have toiled and wrought like thee.
Good is even as its Giver,
As the Universal light,
And its time is the For-ever,
And its space the Infinite;
As the linked chain of gold
All the world it shall enfold.