set to music by
For Soloists, Choir and Chamber Ensemble
Violin,Viola, Cello, Harp
© Dorine Tolley 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this music may be reprinted or reproduced in any form, or by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information or retrieval system, without permission in writing from Dorine Tolley.
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Foreword to Isha Upanishad
Leon MacLaren (1910-1994) did not start composing until the age of sixty. In the early seventies he had completed a successful career as a barrister and had redirected his energies to study economics and philosophy. This had led him to found The School of Economic Science to further the ideas and principles which he had hoped would inspire and enrich the lives of many people who were to enrol in his courses in the decades to come.
In developing the material for the philosophy courses for the students of his School he had pointed out the immense importance of sound as a basic element of the creation. To that purpose he had written a practical course of music explaining the ancient harmonic proportions of the notes of the octave. He called this “the natural octave”, better known today as “just intonation”, which became the foundation of all his compositions, and he insisted that his music should only be played and sung tuned to this “natural octave”.
Over a period of ten years he wrote four major works and a number of songs. All his works were based on texts taken from the Bible and the Vedic tradition. For him these scriptures were essential to a man’s understanding of himself and his place in the universe, and by setting the words to music, he hoped that those who played them and those who listened to them would be inspired by their meaning.
The present work is based on the Isha Upanishad, which forms the closing chapters of the Yajur Veda. The word ‘Isha’ means ‘The Lord’. It is a song to the Lord and the leading theme of this Upanishad is the oneness of the Soul and God.
The number markings 2223, 3222 and similar throughout the first movement have been added editorially. The intent is that they may help indicate the non-standard time signature/beat groupings more clearly.