Form’d of Joy and Mirth (2016)
For piano, 5′
Nan Shannon, piano
About the Music
Pianist Janeen Jones commissioned Form’d of Joy and Mirth to be inspired by this gnomic poem of William Blake:
The Angel that presided o’er by birth
Said ‘Little creature, form’d of joy and mirth,
Go, love without the help of anything on earth.’
Finding Blake’s meaning to be both numinous and inscrutable, I asked Janeen to write her thoughts about the poem. In response, she wrote the following, which serves beautifully as a program note for this piece:
“Life itself is love/joy–they are joined as closely as the proton and electron of a hydrogen atom. They are ubiquitous, beyond human. they were here before us and they will still be here after we’re gone. Any child born into this universe carries joy within him, the unutterable joy of being, leading him naturally to love, to connection.
Love/joy is like the cosmic background radiation–always everywhere. Blake’s angel reminded him to just put his hand into the eternal stream and pull up as much of it as he could handle.
This does not have to be taught! It is part of being!
There is no original sin; there is only original joy, which always was and always will be. The person who hears Blake’s angel will find love everywhere, just as the radio astronomers found invisible light everywhere.”
I dedicate this piece to Janeen, with gratitude, and hope she and all subsequent performers will find the “unutterable joy of being” in these notes.
|Printed Sheet Music – $12.00|
|PDF Sheet Music – $6.00|