In 2009, having already developed what I like to think is a whole new genre, Vocal Kaleidoscope, basing albums on the Book of Revelation, and on Colin Powell's notorious 2003 speech boosting the Bush/Cheney war on Iraq (they are both available here on CD Baby), I happened to read Machiavelli's classic book of advice for the powerful. I expected to be appalled by the cold lizard logic that the word "machiavellian" usually indicates, but I found instead a work of such melancholy that my heart nearly broke.
The logic operating in the book does seem sound, but what also comes through to me is that Machiavelli himself hated every line of it.
And so the book is endlessly tragic, and reflects a tragedy that has continued, and may indeed be inescapable for our species.
If my own approach in setting this work to music expresses a more joyous, indeed comic, attitude, don't let it lead you to think I'm ridiculing anything about it, except perhaps life itself.
The surprising atmosphere of melancholy in The Prince led me to another melancholy character, an actual Italian prince living just a few decades later, the tragic pioneer of dissonance Don Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. Having made mad vocal music from the reading of Machiavelli, it seemed appropriate to render Gesualdo's choral works as instrumental music. Three of these I have rendered as faithfully as I could. The last one I found a way to open up for a multi-guitar improvisation.
I don't expect this to be a big seller. But I'm hoping a few people will have a good time with it.
If you like it, please write a review, and let me know!
May 31, 2012