In celebration of my 51st birthday I presented eight tracks of music which I composed, performed, and recorded back in the 1990s for use as introductions to songs on an album by a metal band. A couple of these have been subsequently re-mixed and released elsewhere, but these tracks are in the original form in which they first appeared.
On Halloween of 2013 c.e. I've added ten more pieces from the same decade. The Nine Satanic Statements are my settings of these texts, many of them musical tributes to some of my favorite composers of film scores and symphonic music. I speak the words. The Nosferatu Prelude references Vlad Tepes, celebrating his mode of justice and concluding with a vision of his mountain castle built by the enslaved boyars who meant to betray him.
Please forgive the roughness of the mixes and the primitiveness of the recorded sound as they were mastered directly in stereo on analog cassette.
These tracks are offered as a free download (right click on the titles), and they are only for the personal listening pleasure of the readers of this web site. Please do not re-post these anywhere, though feel free to send others to this page whom you think might enjoy these brief pieces.
I am in the process of digitizing recordings of my earliest electronic compositions, some of which were released on a cassette album in the mid 1980s which I titled DARKSCAPES. After each piece is enhanced by the audio wizardry of Warlock Gene of Vox Satanae, it will be included on this page for your listening pleasure. The pieces were written in differing compositional styles, from Haydn-esque through avant-garde, which I trust you will find of interest—I had fun making them!
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore, 24 May, Year 50, Anno Satanas.
During my days as a composition student at NYU, I experimented with a number of styles and decided, though not a pianist, to try my hand at writing a piano sonata. Begun in 1979, I had completed it to a certain level of satisfaction by 1980. I had sketched some ideas for taking themes from the development section and further working them out in separate scherzo and funeral march movements, but I moved on to other pieces and left this behind. In 1982 I tightened the single movement a bit to increase the sense of drama and it was given a performance at one of my required recitals by a fellow who was a skilled sight-reader, but who didn’t spend much time on working towards a deeper interpretation of the work.
I filed the score away until I met and befriended the brilliant Dr. Mark Birnbaum, who is an extraordinary pianist and composer whose keen musical intelligence has been applied to many styles, from Joplin to Scriabin—his own compositions being powerful and unique expressions. When Anton LaVey died in 1997, we were shocked and saddened, and ultimately devised the idea of having a memorial concert a year from the time of his passing. Mark played a solo recital of works, and you can follow this link to see the roster he selected and performed on October 29, 1998 to a sold-out house at the Tenri Cultural Institute in lower Manhattan. The program was varied and included Dr. Birnbaum’s own “Lucifer Rising” as well as an extraordinary improvisation on Dr. LaVey’s “Battle Hymn of the Apocalypse” which even referenced Komeda’s lullaby theme from ROSEMARY’S BABY. It was a deeply moving experience for all present.
Dr. Birnbaum mastered and formally premiered my sonata, titled for this concert “Sonata Infernale.” In the course of his perceptive exploration of it, several aspects of performance evolved and a couple of repetitions were added, all to the benefit of the work. This “Birnbaum edition” from 1998 I consider to be definitive. After the concert, Mark went into the recording studio and did a number of takes of my sonata, but ultimately did not have these edited into a final released recording. I had transferred the sessions from DAT to a regular audio cassette, which I had not listened to for a very many years. This year I digitized the audio cassette and turned these takes over to Magister Gene Lavergne, who has employed his audio sorcery to edit the best of them together to showcase Mark’s passionate performance. Upon rehearing it, I now feel that, aside from the dark aspects of it, the sonata embraces a fine strain of lyricism, so it is now to be known as the “Sonata Infernale et Romantique.”
This piece is in the traditional sonata form of exposition/development/recapitulation/coda. There’s a brief two measure introductory germinal motive, which will appear again in the coda, just before the closing gesture. During the development there are scherzando and funeral march aspects that come into play. Ultimately, it seems to work as a self-contained piece, rather than as part of a multi-movement work, so it can stand as is.
I trust that you’ll enjoy this masterly performance by the inimitable Dr. Mark Birnbaum. I urge you to explore Mark’s numerous recordings as they all bring such a vibrant and perceptive take to all he has embraced, regardless of the composer or style. You can discover his recordings on Spotify and purchase them via cdbaby.com. Amongst these, you’ll find some of pieces that were recorded live from that memorial concert. Mark’s music will enrich you, and I am so very fortunate to have had him bring my notes to such energetic life.
—Magus Peter H. Gilmore (5/18/19)
If you’ve enjoyed the music I’ve provided for downloading and want to show your appreciation, I always welcome expanding my collection of movies and music, so here is a link to my Amazon.com wish list.
All works listed above are copyright © by Peter H. Gilmore, 1993, 1995, 1998. These tracks may not be reposted for download, nor is permission given to sell them or include them on any commercial or privately released CD or any other recording or transmissional media. For further information you may contact the composer: Peter H. Gilmore.
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