Carman Moore

CarmanMoore700Carman Moore, 2015

On Februry 27, 2015, in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, the ACO (American Composer's Orchestra), with Khari Joyner, solo cellist, performed the world premiere of Carman Moore's Madiba, commissioned by ACO and inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela.

mandelaNelson Mandela surrounded by artists who performed in the 46664 Arctic Concert in Tromso, Norway, on June 11 2005, held to benefit the campaign against AIDS in Africa. The number 46664 comes from the second time that Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island as the 466th prisoner in 1964.

Carman Moore writes:

"The extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, affectionately called 'Madiba', was both my inspiration and my formal guide in composing MADIBA (the name being also that of Mr. Mandela’s South African clan).

"The instrumentation of MADIBA is more specifically 'cast' than I’ve ever found the need for in the past, with the solo cello representing the Mandela voice and soul and the strings and woodwinds basically representing the oppressed native South African population trying to freely express itself.  And in opposition the brass section acts as the strident voice of apartheid, shouting down the strings and winds at every turn and calling up fortissimo drums as their artillery.  The struggle and constant skirmishes musically between the two forces is followed by the “bass clef” darkness of the cello’s imprisonment, during which at a key moment a duet between solo cello and solo tuba leads to both the triumphant moment of freedom and a quiet stretch in which one might imagine the musical equivalent of 'truth and reconciliation.' 

"Some harmonizing in the work is inspired by the world-renowned South African choral singing.  Even the famed 'click' in certain words in the Xhosa language, disembodied here, is referred to on the wood blocks and rattles (though not in the context of actual speech). 

"I feel it of some value to performers of MADIBA to know the foregoing aspects of my thinking while performing this piece. Yet it is also my belief that MADIBA works as a composition without any non-musical information at all.

"The above-mentioned factors were used as references and inspiration and were not the result of deep scholarship.  What I offer is my love and respect for one of the greatest men of the 20th /21st Centuries.  What I offer is my take in music on Madiba and his South Africa."

Carman Moore’s credits include commissions and performances by the N.Y. Philharmonic (WILDFIRES AND FIELD SONGS), Cleveland Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (THE MYSTERY OF TAO), the Dayton Opera Company, the Orchestra of the Sorbonne, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (GOSPEL FUSE), among others. His multimedia MASS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY for which he created both words and music was commissioned by Lincoln Center and premiered outdoors in 1994 before audiences of thousands.

Moore was the composition student of Hall Overton, Vincent Persichetti and Luciano Berio at The Juilliard School. He has taught at the Yale University School of Music, Queens and Brooklyn Colleges, Carnegie-Mellon University, and Manhattanville College. He and the Skymusic Ensemble, which he founded and conducts, were long-time Artists in Residence at New York’s St. John the Divine Cathedral.

Mr. Moore has recently co-created and toured with Danish singer Lotte Arnsbjerg the multi-media song cycle GIRL OF DIAMOND MOUNTAIN, a work concerned with the world-wide scourge of child sexual abuse. His MADIBA honoring the late Nelson Mandela, was commissioned and will be premiered by the American Composers Orchestra on February 27, 2015. His CONCERTO FOR ORNETTE was premiered in 2013 at Juilliard by The New Juilliard Ensemble Orch. In 2013 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In October of 2014 Moore conducted his music for the UN General Assembly.