Eunan McCreesh

The mutiny of angels
for string quartet

duration: 8 minutes

The mutiny of angels
The inspiration for this piece at first came from a book by Philip J. Caputo called "A Rumour of War", which provides a graphic and often terrifying account of the Vietnam war, not only the scale of the violence but the psychological damages also. This brought me to consider the First war, the war in Heaven in which Lucifer and his forces were crushed and thus expelled from Heaven. This is described in the Book of Revelation 12:7-12:

now war arose in heaven... and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated. The great dragon was thrown down to earth and the loud voice in Heaven proclaimed: "The Salvation and power of the Kingdom of God has truly been proclaimed... the answer has been thrown out. We have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb! Rejoice Heaven, but woe to you earth and sea for the devil has come to you in great wrath and he knows that time is short..."

In response to the above text the intention was to produce a work of intensity and fluidity. While contemplating the piece, I was thinking in orchestral terms so as to achieve as much textural and timbral diversity as possible. Structurally, the piece is quite elaborate and the material is derived from motivic figures at the beginning of the first three sections. The serene opening with layered harmonics gives way to sustained dramatic bursts and towards the end the mood is completely different as the quartet becomes gentler, passionate even faltering.

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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