Eunan McCreesh

The immeritous tree of dreaming
for violin and piano

duration: 9 minutes

The immeritous tree of dreaming was written in 2000. The starting point for the piece was a line from a poem by ex. cummings in which he immortalizes a tree as a "dreamtree, truthtree, tree of jubilee with aeons of existence", which for me evoked the ethics of the beauty of a tree. Joyce Keller's depiction of a tree as a pilgrim with hands (branches) raised heavenward as if to glorify God, or plea for some other existence free from pain reaffirmed the notion of a tree as one of God's more captivating creations. The tree possesses impenetrable appeal: it is a symbol of growth and beauty, and yet in biblical reflections it is the original image of damnation, isolation and invariably, suffering.

The work is virtuosic as it aims to explore the timbral qualities of both instruments, as well as creating textural contrasts. Throughout the piece there is a constant exploration of register in both parts so that the music often digresses in different directions. Much of the material is derived from small ideas such as the opening phrase in the violin part, as it constantly climbs possibly drawing reference to the more positive images of the tree. This contrasts with sections in which the piano digresses into its lower register, becoming more percussive and alluding to the deception of the tree. At the end of the piece both instruments merge together again... the tree remains in full bloom ... it is still... and sacrosanct.

Eunan McCreesh was born in Co. Armagh on October 6th 1964. He began his musical studies on the violin at the age of seven and began teaching himself the piano throughout his years in grammar school. He continued his musical studies at the University of Ulster and at Queen's University Belfast, where he studied with composers Agustin Fernandez and James Clarke.

After graduating from Queen's University with M.Phil degree in Composition in 1997, he was commissioned by local authorities to write a piece for combined local choirs, which was performed at St. Patrick's Cathedral New York and the White House in March 1998.

His first string quartet the mutiny of angels won first prize at the Sligo Contemporary Music Festival in November 2000, and was performed by the Vogler String Quartet. His Piano Trio No.1 The Famished Road was runner up in the same festival in 1998.

Eunan is studying for his Ph.D part - time at Queen's University and is currently employed as Head of Music at St. Catherine's College for Girls in Armagh.

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