Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony

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RESURRECTION IS MORE THAN A RITE OF SPRING: It is the profound desire of every honest heart. The cycle of physical death can only be broken by resurrection. Resurrection is not to be confused with rebirth (which is merely another opportunity to die). Resurrection means the end of death and the beginning of true life, eternal life (which cannot be obtained in this dimension of physicality). The music of Resurrection is immortalised in the 2nd Symphony of Gustav Mahler (called “The Resurrection Symphony”), which he began writing at age 28 in 1888. At around an hour and a half long, it is a massive work with a huge orchestra, two female soloists and a vast choir (which appears in the finale). To listen to this work is akin to watching an unforgettable epic film. It is easy to see why it was voted the fifth-greatest symphony of all time in a survey of conductors carried out by the BBC Music Magazine. To listen to it in its entirety is like taking a journey from a funeral into heaven and beyond. Angels defeat demons in this score with the greatest cosmic drama you can imagine, complete with huge climaxes, off-stage instrument ensembles and theatrical music canvases. Really, you have to hear it to believe it. No description of mine can adequately convey its power, might and majesty. Honestly, I can guarantee that it will blow your mind and fill you with inspiration and ecstatic joy (if you stick with it to the end). And surely Resurrection is especially appropriate in this season?

This was the first Mahler symphony I ever heard at the back end of the 1970s and I was hooked from then on. What a baptism it was! Its music regularly pops into my mind unexpectedly, like coming round the corner in a forest to find a dell of budding bluebells in a shaft of sunlight.

Here the symphony is played in a 27-year old performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle in Birmingham Symphony Hall. (That’s Birmingham, UK, not Alabama! 🙂). Although this is an older performance (which was recorded for BBC Radio 3), I have deliberately chosen it as it is from the days when Mahler was played WITH FIRE! It is a fine recording and Simon Rattle conducts with such presence too. His pre-performance meditation is a necessity. (Plus, the commentator’s concluding comments are from the days when announcers could speak English properly and reverently 😉).

I cannot urge you enough to listen to this extraordinary music. After listening once more, I am sitting here like an explorer who has climbed the highest mountain and, exhausted, grasps the heavenly summit in gratitude, for that is where I wish to stay. If this gargantuan symphony speaks to you, you will be pinned to your seat mesmerised by its spiritual power and glory.

The “Other” Strauss: Music for a New Year’s Day

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ON WHAT HAS COME TO BE CALLED “NEW YEAR’S DAY”, it is traditional in Europe to listen to concerts of Viennese polkas and waltzes, mainly by Johann Strauss II (1825 – 1899). What many do not know is that at that time there was another Strauss in Vienna called Richard (pronounced Rickard, 1864 – 1949). Richard Strauss did admire Johann Strauss’s waltzes, but Richard’s music was in another dimension altogether — a heavenly one. Frankly, I would much rather listen to Richard’s music than Johann’s. I don’t mind the occasional waltz; but a whole concert of them, with encores? Nein danke! Waltzes don’t really go anywhere. They are for emotional dilettantes. One can never get to the real marrow of life (or death) in ¾ time. 😊

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“Shadows of Daddyo, Part 1” (LIVING-ROOM VIDEO #29)

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Here’s another Living-Room Video of a song I’ve just written. It’s about the effect that “daddy-issues” have on relationships and lives. The lyrics are below the video.

Read the lyrics

“If you Want to Hang Around with me” (LIVING-ROOM VIDEO #28)

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Here’s a new “living-room” video of a song I just wrote. It’s about how easy it is to be a true friend of mine. Feel free to share! With love from me to you…  The lyrics are below:


Read the lyrics

“Powder & Lies” (official video)

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“POWDER & LIES” – THE VIDEO by Alan Morrison. An animated video of the song, “Powder & Lies” (with lyrics), from my most recent album, “The Key”. This is about the “suits” who think they run this world (though one day they will receive a terrible shock). This EXPLOSIVE song has a 7-piece band, including 2 backing singers. CRANK UP THE VOLUME so the whole universe hears it! Credits at end of video. Please share!

Read the lyrics for “Powder & Lies”

“I’ve Tried!” (LIVING-ROOM VIDEO #25)

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LIVING-ROOM VIDEO #25: “I’ve Tried”.

This is the first song I’ve written for almost 18 months. Lots of articles and poems but no songs. Too much other music-making going on in 2016 with recording and releasing “The Key” album in Sweden to be writing songs. But now they’re back. Details in the video. Enjoy!

(Click on the link below the video to read the lyrics)

Read the lyrics for “I’ve Tried!”

“For Someone’s Child” [video]

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HERE’S A VIDEO of “For Someone’s Child”, a song from my latest album, “The Key”. It was just made by staff of The Liberty Beacon as they resonated with its message about child victims of war. It is a requiem for every child who has been killed or maimed in conflicts around the world. I wrote the original version in Barcelona in April 2003 after the “Shock & Awe” US bombing campaign on Baghdad, which initiated the gratuitous genocide and deliberate destabilisation of Iraq. I have since updated the lyrics and added a vocal bridge. Note that it is in the key of E major to give a glimmer of hope. Click below to listen.

(Click on the link below the video to read the lyrics)

Read the Lyrics for “Time to Choose”…