MOUNTAIN TOP

mixed choir, percussion group, audio-video sampler

 

MOUNTAIN TOP

Duration: 17:00

 

For sampler, mixed choir, percussion quintet, videos

Based on the last speech of Dr. M.L.King a few hours before his assasination.

 

Mountain Top was commissioned by the Dutch national broadcasting company NTR with financial support from the Performing Arts Fund NL.

 

words: Dr. M.L.King Jr.

videos: Jaap Drupsteen

music: JacobTV

 

Courtesy of the Martin Luther King Estate.

world premiere

May 31 2008 Concertgebouw Amsterdam NL
Netherlands Chamber Choir, Radio Kamerfilharmonie, Otto Tausk

 

American premiere

January 19 2014Wentz Concert Hall, Naperville

January 20 2014 Symphony Center, Chicago

Roosevelt Univ. CCPA Conservatory Choir, Chicago Sinfonietta,
choir conductor/repetitor:Cheryl Hill

conductor: Mei-Ann Chen


Publishers:

Donemus

Boombox Holland

PEER Classical New York

 

The clips show 3 excerpts from original Dutch television broadcast.

 

watch the documentary on national Dutch tv:

TThe making of Mountain Top

 

 

Several of the works that I wrote in the 21th century have been inspired by man’s pursuit of happiness and the yearning for bliss,

as one can tell by some of the titles of my compositions: Jesus Is Coming, Body Of Your Dreams, Garden Of Love, Shining City, May This Bliss Never End and the oratorio Paradiso, based on the Divinia Commedia by Dante.

By content, Mountain Top is related to these works, based as it is on

the dramatic last speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a few hours before his assassination on April 4 1968 in Memphis Tennessee. King was a charismatic preacher, and one of the greatest orators of American history, devoting his life to the advancement of civil rights. As a Dutch boy growing up in the 60s I remember him very well because the media in Holland reported about him regularly. Mountain Top is a timeless speech in which King calls for unity and nonviolent protest, while challenging the United States to live up to its ideals .It is also very moving how he predicted  his own death:

 

We’ve got some difficult days ahead

But it really doesn’t matter with me now

Because I’ve been to the mountain top

 

Longevity has its place

Like anybody I would like to live a long life

But I’m not concerned about that now

 

King’s passionate speech is characterized by a rich melodic intonation,

a great source of musical inspiration for me, apart from the words themselves. I digitally sampled the words and sentences, analysed pitch and duration, and then wrote it down in authentic musical notation, using this as the leitmotif for my composition. So, all melody, harmony and rhythms of Mountain Top come from the original speech. Like in a cantata, King is the lead singer, with the choir and percussion group responding, interacting and accompanying. In order to synchronize Kings words with the live music, the audio and video projection is being ‘performed’ by a musician playing an electronic keyboard in the ensemble.

 

JacobTV

 

MOUNTAIN TOP ( lyrics extract)

 

Something is happening in our world

The masses of people are rising up

In these powerful days, these days of challenge...

 

Let us move on, let us stand with a greater determination

Survival,survival, survival

Now no longer can they just talk about it

Talkin’ about war and peace

It is no longer the choice between violence and non violence in this world. It’s non violence or non existence...

 

And some began to say the threats...

Of what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers

Well I don’t know what will happen now

We’ve got some difficult days ahead

 

And some began to say the threats...

Of what would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers

 

 

Well I don’t know what will happen now

We’ve got some difficult days ahead

But it really doesn’t matter with me now

Because I’ve been to the mountain top

I just wanna do God’s will

And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain

and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen -  and I’ve seen

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

And I’ve seen the promised land... And I’ve seen

But I want you to know tonight that we as a people

Will get to the promised land

I may not get there with you...

 

Longevity has its place

Like anybody I would like to live a long life

But I’m not concerned about that now

 

So I’m happy tonight I’m not worried about anything

I’m not fearing any man

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

www.jacobtv.net