Raymond Deane’s Seachanges (with Danse Macabre) is the first work in his Macabre Trilogy. Together with Catacombs (1994) and Marche Oubliée (1996), the three pieces deal lightheartedly with the theme of death. Seachanges has been selected as a set work for the school Leaving Certificate music examination in Ireland. The composer writes: ‘This piece is based on a short melody that came while walking on the beach at Ardtrasna, County Sligo, and that returned to haunt me a year later on a very different beach at Huatulco, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The piece is informed throughout by this extreme contrast, and by my reactions to the grotesque and gaudy morbidity characteristic of Mexican iconography. The word ‘seachanges’ was suggested both by the Atlantic/Pacific aspect, and by Shakespeare’s Full fathom five my father lies…, thus linking up with the theme of death. The use of marimba and strummed stringed instruments evokes the Mexican ‘mariachi’ band.’ Commissioned by Concorde with funds provided by The School of Irish Studies and The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
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