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Mannanan mac Lir

By Brandon Nelson

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Flute, Harp, flute, lever harp - Advanced
Composed by Brandon Nelson. Contemporary Classical, Recital. Individual Part, Score. 16 pages. Published by Brandon Nelson (S0.117083).

Item Number: S0.117083

A great piece to show off the talents of mature flute and lever harp performers, this colorful character piece is appropriate for any recital or concert setting. Mannanàn mac Lir occupied several roles in the mythological universe of the Celtic peoples. Most notably, he was considered to be the god of the seas. He was also regarded as a “psychopomp”—that is, a figure associated with the realm of the dead, acting as a sort of “veil” between the worlds.In this work, I play on his connection to the sea by quoting the traditional Manx folk tune “The Storm Is Up” (Callin Veg Dhoan). The tune is developed through several permutations, each portraying a role Mannanàn played.Each movement is ushered to us by a psychopomp veil.“With the Churl in the Drab Coat” refers to Mannanàn’s association with the trickster figure Bodach an Chota Lachtna. The movement is erratic yet impishly playful.Mannanàn was also regarded as a sort of magician king. In that respect, he was given the role of Guardian of Mag Mell, a place that is comparable to the Nordic conception of Valhalla. Mag Mell was a plain of joy, a kingdom under the sea for a select few. Mannanàn protected this realm with the help of Fragarach, a sword which could slice through any armor and could compel anyone to tell the truth. This movement is bold and heavy in spirit, gradually becoming more dissonant as if portraying an ugly battle to defend this beautiful place.The final veil transports us to the end of times, a fading away of the once-great pantheon. That storm, as all must do, comes to a quiet, peaceful end.Learn more about me at

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