About Jon Corelis

Jon Corelis was born in California and grew up in and around Chicago, where he earned a degree in Classical Languages and Literatures at the College of the University of Chicago. He later took a doctorate in Classics at Stanford, and taught Classics and Humanities at Stanford, the University of California, and the University of Minnesota. After a subsequent career as a software specialist in Silicon Valley, he moved to Northeastern Wisconsin.

His poetry, criticism, essays, reviews, and translations have been published in books, magazines, newspapers, and web sites in nine countries, and he has given lectures and readings by invitation in America and Europe.

He has also written a performance version of Euripides' Hippolytos. He more recently has turned to composing songs and instrumental pieces. His music has been featured on the web site The Flexible Persona, has been performed in concert by the Wisconsin ensemble a very small consortium, and has been recorded by flutist Robin Meiksins for her YouTube recording project 365 Days of Flute.

For more information, links to his works on line, and a contact method, please see his web site.

A note to Society of Composers members:

Itís with some trepidation that I present myself on the Society of Composers web site, since Iím frankly an amateur and self-taught composer with as yet no performance history, though I can claim a modest but respectable publication record as of writer of poetry and other genres. But a few professional composers and musicians with whom Iíve communicated have said that my work is of some interest.

Since I donít yet have performers to work with, and my own instrumental ability is rudimentary, all my compositions are currently in the form of pdf scores and mp3 sound files produced with software, with sound files of songs using either synth la-la voices or instruments to simulate vocals. But I donít consider myself just a writer of computer music: I hope that my works are performable and eventually will be performed.

My compositions are housed on various internet sites; probably the best place to find them all is on my Soundcloud pages.

Hereís an overview to help people decide they might be interested in looking at my pieces, which fall into the following categories:

ē Small ensemble instrumental arrangements of folk melodies (mostly Celtic) and French chansons.

ē My own musical settings (sometimes based on folk melodies) of famous poems by great poets of the past. Most of these are in a style which would qualify them as art songs. The sound files of these use either synth la-la vocals or instruments to simulate vocals.

ē Original songs with my own words and music, though again some of the melodies are based on traditional ones. Though some of these could be considered art songs, many are in popular genres like folk, blues, or novelty. For these pieces also, the sound files of these use either synth la-la vocals or instruments to simulate vocals.

ē A few eccentricities, like songs based on ancient Greek tonal and metrical values.

ē Iíve also written a translation of the ancient Greek tragedy Hippolytos by Euripides, in which the choral odes take the form of songs set to melodies from the medieval secular song repertoire. This is available on line (with sound files).

On Songwriting

Musicologist Robert Spencer wrote of the songs of Thomas Campion that his priorities were of the order ďpoem, melody, and lastly singer,Ē and Campion himself defended the deliberate simplicity of his technique thus: ďA naked Ayre without guide, or prop, or colour but his owne, is easily censured of everies eare, and requires so much the more invention to make it please.Ē These comments well describe my own assumptions as a poet songwriter.





The Celtic Melody Library

Apart from my own work, a web site Iíve created which may interest some members of the Society of Composers is the Celtic Melody Library, a collection of well over one hundred traditional Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, and Breton folk tunes, given in simple monadic scores and brief sound files, which is intended among other uses to help composers looking for traditional Celtic tunes to include in their own compositions. The site, which is non-commercial, ad-free, and accessible without subscription or registration, is here.




Book reviews on Amazon


Folk Songs of Greece

Folksongs Of Britain And Ireland

Ancient Irish Airs and Dances: 201 Classic Tunes Arranged for Piano

Songs of American Sailormen

American Ballads and Folk Songs

A Medieval Songbook: Troubadour & Trouvere

Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master

Compositions

Five Russian Songs for Flute, Violin, Cello, and Percussion


PDF score

The songs are: The woodland cabin - Soldier's farewell - Lover's lament - Roseberry and Raspberry - The Tartars

The sound file was generated with software using synth instruments as a demo.


Image from Peasant Songs of Great Russia by E Lineff, 1911

Please note that while this composition is based on traditional songs and poems in the public domain, my arrangement of them is an original creative work under copyright. You may feel free to share or link to it by the usual means. For performance permission, please see:

sites.google.com/site/jcorelis/music-permissions


French Suite


PDF score


Five French Songs: Tant que vivray by Claudin de Sermisy, Belle qui tiens ma vie by Thoinot Arbeau, L'Amour de moi (traditional,) Adieu mes amours by Josquin Des Prez, and Jehan de Lagny by Jacques Berchem, adapted by Jon Corelis for Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo, Oboe, Horn, Bassoon, Cello, Piano, and Percussion.
2017 15:00 Performance note: only one peformer is needed for Flute/Piccolo, and only one for percussion. Percussion instruments required are Triangle, Glockenspiel, Tubular Bells, Tambourine, and Timpani (29"/28" and 26"/25".)
The sound file was generated with software using synth instruments as a demo.
Please note that while this composition is based on traditional songs in the public domain, my arrangement of them is an original creative work under copyright. You may feel free to share or link to it by the usual means. For performance permission, please see:
sites.google.com/site/jcorelis/music-permissions
Image: Allegorie des Triumphes der Venus by Angelo Bronzino, Detail Image licensing information: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angelo_Bronzino_002.jpg


Veni, veni Emanuel


PDF score


My arrangement for Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Viola and Piano chorus of this very old hymn, often sung as a Christmas carol. The sound file is generated with software using synth instruments and choral ah voices, even though the vocals are supposed to be single voices.
Score pdf at https://musescore.com/user/2488/scores/4625751
Please note that while this composition is based on a traditional song in the public domain, my arrangement of the music and adaptation of the lyrics are an original creative work under copyright. For performance permission, please see:
sites.google.com/site/jcorelis/music-permissions

The Latin words given in the score, but for convenience, I also give them here:

Veni, veni Emanuel,
Captivum solve Israel,
Qui gemit in exilio
Privatus Dei Filio.
Gaude, gaude! Emanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, o Jesse Virgula;
Ex hostis tuos ungula,
De specu tuos tartari
Deduc et antro barathri.
Gaude, gaude! Emanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni, o Oriens
Solare nos adveniens;
Noctis depele nebulas
Dirasque noctis tenebras.
Gaude, gaude! Emanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni clavis Davidica;
Regna reclude caelica;
Fac iter tutum superum,
Et claude vias inferum.
Gaude, gaude! Emanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni Adonai,
Qui populo in Sinai
Legem dedisti vertice,
In majestate gloriae.
Gaude, gaude! Emanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

O come, O come Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel,
That into exile drear is gone,
Far from the face of Godís dear son,

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Branch of Jesse ! draw
The quarry from the lion's claw;
From the dread caverns of the grave.
From nether hell, thy people save.
O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright!
Pour on our souls thy healing light;
Dispel the long night's lingering gloom,
And pierce the shadows of the tomb.

O come, thou Lord of David's Key!
The royal door fling wide and free;
Safeguard for us the heavenward road,
And bar the way to death's abode.

O come, O come, Adonai,
Who in thy glorious majesty
From that high mountain clothed with awe
Gavest thy folk the elder law.

tr. T. A. Lacey 1906
Image: Edward Burne-Jones Star of Bethlehem Image information and licensing goo.gl/HcEAv7


MacNeil of Barra/The Sealwoman's Croon/Glenlogie for Solo Flute


PDF score


Three traditional Scottish tunes adaptedfor solo flute; composed for flutist Robin Meiksins' YouTube flute recording project (365 Days of Flute https://goo.gl/1WLSfc) This sound file is a recording of her performance, posted here with her permission. Robin Meiksins' web site is: http://robinmeiksins.com/
Image: beach on Barra, Scotland
Image licensing information:
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2004_0806hebridies0048.JPG
Please note that while this composition is based on traditional songs in the public domain, my arrangement of them is an original creative work under copyright. You may feel free to share or link to it by the usual means. For performance permission, please see:
sites.google.com/site/jcorelis/music-permissions