Liner Notes from New CD!
Many of you have asked for the orchestral compostions of mine, including selections from my opera, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and from the "Peter Pan" (silent movie) score - and others, such as piano and trumpet concertos. Here it is. "The Last Carousel" is finally out. You can read the liner notes here. To have it sent to your home, please go to our Online Store and just click the buttons. Thanks for looking here! Bob Milne
The Last Carousel
Assorted Songs, Concerti, Movie Scores, and Selections from the opera “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
1) Overture to Peter Pan: R. Milne; 2011: for the 1924 silent movie Peter Pan
Mr. Milne composed this score for the silent movie festival held in Olympia, Washington, in November of 2011.
2) Trumpet Concerto: Mov’ts 1, 2 &3: R. Milne; Composed in 1961 for David Greenhoe
This piece of music was composed by Mr. Milne in 1961 when he was at the Eastman School of Music. His explanation of how it occurred to him is as follows: “I was walking back to my apartment on Meigs Street, about a mile from the school, when I heard this piece in my head. At first I thought it was something we’d been rehearsing earlier, but turned out it wasn’t. Then I thought maybe it was a piece for the horn and I could play it, but the key it came in was either too high or too low for the horn. Then I realized it was a trumpet I heard playing it, so it became a trumpet concerto, of course. I was unable to write it out at the time because of hand cramping.”
In 1977 his friend, Dave Greenhoe, was urging him to write it out. The result was hard to read and the project was set aside. Then, in 2011, Mr. Milne realized he could write it on the computer music program quite easily. Remembering this 21 minute piece in its entirety, it now appears as a fully orchestrated concerto worthy of the best. Studies are currently being done by the Pennsylvania State University Medical College on Mr. Milne’s memory processes.
3) Never Never Land: From the Peter Pan score
The mystical, “floating in air” melodies of Peter Pan’s world hover somewhere between the earth and the clouds in this depiction of never, never growing up, always remaining as a child.
4) Piano Concerto #1, 3rd Mov’t.: Composed in 1991
The concerto has been performed with orchestra by Mr. Milne three times to date. It was described by a fellow professional musician thusly: “It never lets up. It’s like being in a high speed power dive in an F-14 fighter plane at the force of Mach 3, wearing no clothes and with your hair on fire.”
5) Duet: Love duet from Sleepy Hollow
This duet between Katrina and her lover, Brom Bones, is accompanied by a lute player and small orchestra in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Since the lute player is from the spirit world, where nothing makes sense in the realm of rational thinking, Mr. Milne scored this piece to be extremely complex musically (not making sense) but highly listenable to the average (of this world) listener. Therefore, the lute player plays in a rhythm of 6/8 while Brom Bones sings in 5/4 and Katrina is most often in 4/4.
6) The Last Carousel: Dance scene from Sleepy Hollow
This piece is part of the ongoing studies by the Penn State University Medical Center on Mr. Milne’s cognitive processes. It somehow occurred to him instantaneously while driving home one night in 1972, with all five sections of it playing at once in his head. Over 6 minutes long, he has described in detail hearing it all at once, along with several disturbing visual connections. A frightening childhood dream was involved in this. The piece, he says, rattled him extensively, seemingly coming out of nowhere to let him know that the dream was still there. He very rarely ever played it for anyone, even though his friends repeatedly prodded him to record it. During the writing of the “Sleepy Hollow” opera it was necessary to have a dance scene, so Mr. Milne decided to get over his fear after 40 years and bring these melodies out where they could finally be heard by others. He wrote words for the dancers to be singing during the opera. Today he says that if he hears the words along with the music it doesn’t bother him. The music by itself does.
7) Dream Song: Aria/Duet from Sleepy Hollow
This duet takes place in the “sacred woods” where the spiritual ancestors dwell. Ichabod Crane is questioning Katrina about timelessness and the dream world of where these spirits live. He wonders sarcastically why he can’t see them, and she answers in the third verse:
My dreams are very strange, I do not understand,
My mother comes from somewhere and takes me by the hand:
I recognize her voice, from far across a sea,
She takes me to a place where I’ve been before it seems:
It’s a thousand years before me, from time beyond recall,
Strange places in the sky, yet somehow I know them all:
My dreams are always reaching and calling from afar,
Are dreams, I’ve often wondered, the world beyond the stars?
8) Who Will Come? Christmas Carol, 1968
Thomas Byrnes wrote “The Christmas Chimes” play in the 1950s, and it was produced without music by CBS Chicago for 10 years. He asked Mr. Milne in 1968 to write the music for the play, and “Who Will Come” became an instant hit with everyone who heard it.
Who will come when Lord Jesus awakes? Who will come when Lord Jesus awakes?
Angel choirs will come and stay by His bed, and lift up His head when He wakes.
Who will come when the Lord Jesus cries? Who will come when the Lord Jesus cries?
Mother Mary will come when His crying she hears, and dry all His tears when He cries.
Who will come when Lord Jesus is cold? Who will come when Lord Jesus is cold?
Oh, the cattle will come and warm His dear feet with their breathing so sweet when He’s cold.
Who will come when the Lord Jesus strays? Who will come when the Lord Jesus strays?
Saint Joseph will come, put the child on his arm, and protect Him from harm when he strays.
Oh, who will come when the child needs a home? Who will come when the child needs a home?
I will come, I will come, He will dwell with me: Joseph, Mary, all three in my home.
Joseph, Mary, all three in my home.
9) I Wonder: Composed to the poem by Stillman Elwell, 1975
Stillman Elwell was a farmer/poet from Dryden, Michigan. His poetry is stunning. Mr. Milne wrote this song based on Stillman’s poem of the same name.
Yes, the lilacs are in blossom, just the way they used to be,
And the fence is there as always, right beside the old oak tree:
And the path winds down the hillside, just the way it used to wind,
Though it’s overgrown with brambles, and is harder now to find:
So it’s much the same, the same as always, in the springtime of the year,
All except it seems so lonely, where it once was filled with cheer:
And I wonder, can you tell me, of a sound I used to know,
Coming through the woods at twilight, like an echo soft and low:
When the shadows fill the valley, can you hear the plaintive song
Of the whippoorwill still calling, where the old house stood so long?
The orchestral instruments heard in this recording are real instruments, individually recorded note by note and placed on a computer chip. The sounds you hear are these notes being played back through Mr. Milne’s scores. The “voices” heard are computerized imitations of human voices: pretty good, but they can’t sing the words to the arias, etc. The overall effect is that the sound coming from these recordings could be being heard live in Symphony Hall. We hope you enjoy these.
P.O. Box 586
Lapeer, MI 48446
Bob and Linda's Challenge:
Anyone who makes it to all the concerts in any given month will get free burgers with Bob and Linda at the local truck stop! The "Flying 'J" has been offering good stuff lately. Although no "5 Star" endorsements are being ballyhooed from finer dining compendiums, the National Truck & Road magazine rates 'em "Mighty Fine!"
See you soon!