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Five Phantasms

for amplified string quintet (2 Vln, Vla, Vc, Cb) and fixed stereo audio​


apomakrysmenophobia (ah-POM-a-KRIS-men-o-FOH-be-uh)
noun. fear that your connections with people are ultimately shallow, that although your relationships feel congenial at the time, an audit of your life would produce an emotional safety deposit box of low-interest holdings and uninvested windfall profits, which will indicate you were never really at risk of joy, sacrifice or loss.
                                                                                                                                              -John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The catharsis of this collection of poems and accompanying musical scenes came with the first poem, Desolation, which I wrote during a car ride from St. Louis up to Beloit, Wisconsin. Barren, snow covered corn fields formed an unending, hypnotic landscape with the equally white skies, completely taking away my sense of distinction and corporeality. This setting brought about feelings I have long felt my whole life, of being isolated in large crowds of people, and finding difficulty investing in relationships with other people. John Koenig has compiled a large number of these feelings in his online dictionary, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I highly recommend reading through a few of these sorrows – they may describe you better than you can put into words.

I am wonderfully adept at hiding my sense of being alone, even when I have wonderful relationships with the people around me. To an extent, I suspect every person reading this has felt the same way at one point. Each of the coinciding poems were written around a different, unique emotion, that I feel constantly. That being said, I am enlightened enough to know every person’s life is as unique and vivid as my own, and some messages I have attempted to convey will resonate with certain individuals. Since the poems and music were composed and edited in conjunction with each other, I was not able to clearly articulate my thought processes and method of programmatic thinking. This leaves a large room for interpretation.

The pieces, while each conceived separately in their own right, also form a process of thought and programmatic narrative when heard together as a whole. I neglect to put forth my own mode of thinking, because I do not wish to influence the listeners’ interpretation, and indeed, I find it hard to adequately articulate my thoughts and feelings that come about through this collection. Therefore, the following pieces may be played together as a whole, or cherry-picked for certain programs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Cory Brodack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    May 2018


Listen Here
I.        Desolation
II./III. Prodroma/Psychosis
IV.      Lucidity
V.       Quietus

I. Desolation

I exist alone in my own thoughts
Free from the shackles of society
My mind soars gaily above civilization
Solitary confinement enriches my soul
Blissfully awake, I may drown eagerly
Alone in my blindness, I feel everything
I feel all and none, for which I am glad
Feeling as that which you do
Purity would disembowel my soul
I would feel eternal Desolation

II. Prodroma

Fracture points must inevitably shatter
I yearn to tear myself apart
Conscious and subconscious
They interchange freely within
The fabric of my identity is unraveling
What is true is no longer your privilege
There is one treatise you may find
We all succumb to madness
My truth is your lunacy
Your presumptions are my Prodroma

III. Psychosis

There is little more I may accomplish
I deeply miss who I was
I long to see what I will become
Certain tendencies of mine escape
I deny the collective as a broken being
Words nor time may mend my wounds
These scars are self-inflicted
My blood forms a lens
It colors my landscape
You have no right nor cause
To take away my loved Psychosis

IV. Lucidity

I see white
Between Heaven and Earth is seamless
This season brings new dawns
No part of my psyche changes
Gazing into the ether
I see white
I wish to become everything
Nothing at all
Fading into my personal beyond
I see white
My thought become cosmos
How I dream of Lucidity

V. Quietus

Silence is golden
Silence becomes you
You become silent
To my dismay, you become dust
Gingerly, I pack it together
You hold your shape for a moment
You seep through my fingers
Dust in the wind
This is a romantic notion
I know the truth
Life gives and takes
But you gave me Quietus









-Cory Brodack, April 2018

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