Invocation No. 2: Prayer of Supplication

Pacific Serenades

Invocation No. 2: Prayer of Supplication
Performed By Pacific Serenades
Album UPC 884501531993
CD Baby Track ID 9686176
Label Pacific Serenades
Released 2011-06-01
BPM 140
Rated 0
Year 2011
Spotify Plays 30
Writer Mark Carlson
Pub Co Pacific Serenades
Composer Mark Carlson
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master and Publishing Grant
Rights One-Stop: Master + 100% Pub Grant
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country United States - United States


An anti-war/pro-peace, musical statement, reflecting on the horrors of war and the hope for new generations to come.


Belinda Broughton, violin (War Scrap)
Roger Wilkie, violin (Generations)
Roland Kato, viola
David Speltz, cello
Bruce Morganthaler, double bass
David Johnson, percussion
Ayke Agus, piano (Generations)
Joanne Pearce Martin, piano (On the Coming of War)
Antoinette Perry, piano (War Scrap)

'War Scrap—that we may have peace' is a anti-war/pro-peace statement through music. Composer John Steinmetz felt compelled to compose 'War Scrap' after a trip to Laos in 1994 where he witnessed the devastating imprints of war left by American bombing campaigns during the early 70's. Mark Carlson composed 'On the Coming of War' as an expression of his profound disillusionment on the eve of the Iraq war—while maintaining the need to remain hopeful. Larry Lipkis composed 'Generations' to ponder the joys and sorrows of life and death—that with every death comes the promise of rebirth through coming generations.

According to Steinmetz, two angles underlie War Scrap. "One is the ancient idea that we human beings suffer from blindness about ourselves. We are too good at losing sight of those parts of our natures that we hate or fear. It's a bit of folk wisdom that looking at what you hate in other people gives clues to what you hate about yourself. Apparently nations are similarly blind to the darker sides of their national character. In America, our very idealism may make it hard for us to see our nation's violent streak."

"The second angle is also ancient: that art can help us bring up difficult and painful truths and examine them. In some cultures the arts also provide positive ways to give expression to scary, violent parts of human nature through painting, mask-making, dance, and theatre, through impersonating demons and war gods, through enacting mythic battles. In our culture the popular arts are full of violence, but I suspect that these don't help us much because we take part only as passive observers."

In such a way, these three pieces promote a rigorous meditation on war and the promise of rebirth, with all of its contradictions and considerations, ideologies and idiocies, stirrings and sufferings, trials and triumphs.

Composer Mark Carlson reflects on 'On the Coming of War':
"This piece was just starting to incubate in my mind when whispers of our going to war in Iraq grew ever louder, and I finished writing it as the invasion was taking place. Having come of age during the massive protests against the war in Viet Nam, I naively thought then and for many years that we actually would 'overcome' and that war would wsoon become a relic of mankind's past. i cannot express in words how depressed and disheartened I was that in 2003 this was clearly not the case, and for a while, I wondered if it was even worth it to write this piece: perhaps art was meaningless in a world so intent on solving its problems through violence.
The first movement, 'Elegy on the coming of war", expresses my horror, my depression better than any words could. It is fragmented in nature -- almost nothing continues for very long, and a series of minor triads keeps recurring, sometimes evolving into more dissonant sonorities.
The second movement is the first of two invocations. This one, a war dance, alternates between an aggressive call to the gods to support us in our martial endeavor, and introspective, poignant music, which increasingly expresses the human anguish that is inevitably the result of war.
the final movement -- the second invocation -- begins with a sorrowful song, as if to implore the gods to put an end to war. Ending mournfully, it is answered by another song, a sort of lullaby offering comfort and perhaps hope. I confess that i fought the inclusion of this song of comfort, wanting the piece to end in sorrow. But his melody kept entering my mind, as if insisting that it be included, and I relented. In spite of my feeling so disheartened about this war, it is in my nature to remain hopeful. Besides, we just have to find ways to end war."

Larry Lipkis on "Generations":
"Traditionally, the intimacy of the chamber music medium has often led composers to turn inward and produce works of a personal reflective nature. In my own case, three Pacific Serenades commissions seem to have come at times of great family milestones and have thus been the vehicles for some of my most introspective works. I was newly married when my clarinet trio 'Rebel Angst' -- dedicated to my wife Linda -- premiered in 1989. The second piece 'Dancing in Her Sleep', from 1994, was a reflection on the nocturnal antics of our newborn daughter, Julia. The year before I wrote 'Generations', though was a time of both joy and sorrow: my son Rory was born in February, and less than six weeks later, my father died. Through the celebration of a new life and the mourning of one now concluded, I began to shape the present quintet as a meditation upon the generations: a elegiac homage framed by two exuberant dances.
The first movement is a paean to a little boy who is in constant, erratic motion. One of the melodies -- a jaunty, swaggering waltz -- is based upon a tune from a much earlier work, 'Pierrot in Love", which had been one of my father's favorites. The second movement 'Elegy' contains an extended solo for the viola, which weaves through a lilting barcarole. The final movement recaptures the irrepressible energy of the opening, with spiky, unpredictable rhythms and perpetual motion sixteenth notes. A quite chorale-like section interrupts, and each instrument responds individually to the sudden solemnity. High spirits ultimately win the day, though, and the piece ends with an animated romp to the final cadence."

Private Notes

Click here to add a private note. Private notes can only be viewed by you.


Click here to add a comment. Comments can be viewed by everyone.

  • Playlist
Your playlist is currently empty.