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Topic: GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

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  1. #1

    GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

    Someone has asked me to explain what is going on in "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" and so I will try as best I can to recreate the story as I envisioned it when I wrote it. Here is the link to the MP3:

    David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem

    The cathedral pipe organ at the beginning signifies sunrise on the most important day in the history of ancient Israel -- the day when David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem from its previous resting place at the shrine of Shiloh. It was in preparation for building the first great Temple of Jerusalem, but David misbehaved, and God forbade him to build that temple. That honor was reserved for David's son, King Solomon, who did finally place the Ark into the Holy of Holies in the Temple. This introduction to the piece was recorded in a single take, for which I had to rehearse for several weeks before I was finally satisfied that I could do it in one take because I did not want to have to do any MIDI splicing in it.

    Back to this story, though, after the sun makes its glorious appearance, the Ark is raised onto a platform suspended between two of the great royal elephants caparisoned in their royal purple blankets and brilliant gold capping on their gigantic tusks. The parade is ready to begin, but first...

    Prayer is the saving grace of Israel. David is surrounded by hosts of his soldiers and countrymen before the gate of Judah that will open into the city when all is ready. Everyone bows down to the ground and enters into a long and serious period of prayer to bless their holy enterprise in bringing the most important object in the world to the most important city in the Hebrew world. The Ark was built to very specific instructions given directly by God, according to the Hebrew scriptures, and it was instant death for anyone to touch it without being sufficiently prepared beforehand with appropriate permission. The Ark also contained the rod of Moses that performed many miracles and parted the Red Sea for the Hebrews in their escape from slavery in Egypt. The Ark also contained that all-important Covenant -- the Ten Commandments written on tablets of stone directly by God Himself.

    At the end of the prayers, David approaches the gate of Judah (the Lion of Israel) and knocks three times for permission to enter. (Even though he is king, for this occasion, he lowers himself to the status of an ordinary man, stripped of all semblance of royalty before the awful majesty of the Holy Presence.) Three knocks from inside the gate signify that the gate will indeed open now and admit David, followed by the Ark, and then the hosts of soldiers and countrymen who are accompany that most important treasure in all of Israel.

    David dances before the Ark as it moves into the city. There are many different versions of which musical instrument David played as he danced and led the Ark in that long parade, but all agree that he did dance himself into quite a frenzy before the parade stopped at a specific location that is not identified anywhere. I have avoided all controversy concerning which instrument David played by not including it at all. I would have been tempted to put a tambourine in his hand, but there is too much evidence that says he played the harp (a small hand-held instrument), and he is depicted in many paintings as playing that little harp.

    The piece ends with David's collapse after his mystical frenzy at the point where the Ark would be stored until the day when his son Solomon could finish building the Temple in which it would be housed permanently.

    There is a whole raft of speculation on where the Ark is today, but it is still believed that Solomon hid it well and it will return to its rightful place in a temple built in Jerusalem in the last days of the planet. Seeing how weak Israel was militarily and how it was surrounded by such huge and powerful military empires, Solomon foresaw the day when Israel would be swallowed up and conquered by at least one of those empires because of the enormous riches and wealth he had accumulated for Israel, and so he devised a plan, I believe, in which he used his friend, the Queen of Sheba, to spread a number of copies of the Ark, some very similar to the original and others not so similar, in order to add confusion to his enterprise, throughout the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa. And only the Queen of Sheba knew where the original was hidden. No one today knows where it is, but there are prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures which predict that it will, in fact, be found and returned, once a new Temple is built in Jerusalem.

    I will stop at this point because the building of a new temple in Jerusalem is a very hot issue at this time. There is a Muslim mosque (called the "Dome of the Rock") built directly over the site where the new temple is supposed to be built, and while that mosque exists, Israel cannot build there. The mosque is supposed to be destroyed by an earthquake, according to the prophecies, but that yet remains to be seen.

    And that is the explanation for how I envisioned the transfer of the Ark from the Shrine at Shiloh into Jerusalem that is the story behind this music. It is not my intention to start any controversies here. I am neither Jewish nor Arab (or Muslim), and I do not expect to live long enough to see if or when any of these prophecies take place. I am totally neutral. My only intention was to describe musically an event that occurred many centuries (several millennia) in the past, not what is happening today.

    I sincerely hope you enjoy the music.

    Arvid
    Arvid Hand
    Theory-Comp./Piano
    ASCAP

  2. #2

    Re: GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

    Arvid. Seriously, you should do this for a living. You have a talent for telling a story with just music. I've always been fascinated by movie soundtrack music and I like to analyse it (after taking in the facts of the movie's story, of course). Once again, tasteful use of instrumentation and arrangement. I enjoyed this very much!
    John B.

  3. #3

    Re: GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

    Quote Originally Posted by voclizr View Post
    Arvid. Seriously, you should do this for a living. You have a talent for telling a story with just music. I've always been fascinated by movie soundtrack music and I like to analyse it (after taking in the facts of the movie's story, of course). Once again, tasteful use of instrumentation and arrangement. I enjoyed this very much!
    John B.
    Thank you again, John. I was afraid you might rip me apart for all the repetition in the piece, but there is, in fact, a tremendous amount of repetition in Hebrew music. I basically only have one theme throughout the entire piece, and it is stated in the first couple of bars of the organ intro and lasts all the way up until the final bar. This is the only recording, incidentally, in which I have intentionally left a "wrong note" in it, and that is the very last note in the piece. I kept listening and listening and listening to this recording trying to figure out why it sounded like that at the very end, and I examined the files I used to create it a number times and didn't see anything. It took me a couple of years, in fact, to discover that in my SONAR track view, I finally found that those last four notes in one of the French horn tracks had somehow mysteriously dropped down a half-step and I never caught it. But instead of fixing it, I just decided to leave it there because it lends a certain character to the ending it would otherwise not have without it. The Buddha piece is also based on a single theme, but it has considerably more variation in it than the Ark work.

    I have also been asked to tell the story behind the four movements in Buddha Meets the Moos-sician but that could get to be quite a long tale. I'll have to write it up here at home and edit it down to a manageable size. It was, after all, supposed to be turned into an animated movie at one time, but the project simply never got off the ground.

    The "Buddha" piece is also only the first half of what was supposed to be the movie. The first half ends with Buddha and the Moos-sician taking flight to visit the world outside of the Moos-sician's forest, so now I have to tell the tale of what happened on their journey. I have thought long and hard about how to approach that, because there are two different ways to do it: (1) Follow the Buddha and Moos-sician on their journey as they go or (2) let the Moos-sician tell the tale of their journey after they return to the forest. I still haven't decided which way to approach it. Maybe someone can help me make up my mind...

    Thank you, again,

    Arvid
    Arvid Hand
    Theory-Comp./Piano
    ASCAP

  4. #4

    Re: GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

    A competently made programmatic piece, Arvid, that
    presents the story you outline in your description well.

    Hebrew music is often sparse and, as you note, works
    mostly with repetition rather than the development to
    which Western ears are accustomed; hence, it may
    take a few hearings for those unfamiliar with its
    traditions to acquire its nuances.

    There's a growing interest of late in music from
    non-Western cultures --perhaps you might also provide
    the score, so that we may study the construction of the
    piece further.

    Best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com

  5. #5

    Re: GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux View Post
    A competently made programmatic piece, Arvid, that
    presents the story you outline in your description well.

    Hebrew music is often sparse and, as you note, works
    mostly with repetition rather than the development to
    which Western ears are accustomed; hence, it may
    take a few hearings for those unfamiliar with its
    traditions to acquire its nuances.

    There's a growing interest of late in music from
    non-Western cultures --perhaps you might also provide
    the score, so that we may study the construction of the
    piece further.

    Best,



    David
    -----
    David Sosnowski
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    Thank you for your very supportive and encouraging comments, David. (BTW, I really do like that "Persistence of Vision" work of yours. Please do continue with that...)

    Through a tremendous series of disasters with my computers and hard drives over the last 8 years or so, I have managed to lose just about all my scores except for Buddha Meets the Moos-sician and it seems like somewhat of a miracle that I have managed to keep a printed copy of that, I'm so careless. (The score for Gotterdammerung, of course is available, since I didn't write it!!!) I do, however, have a very few copies of many of the individual tracks that I recorded and several of some of the MIDI files I can use to reconstruct the scores of my works, but to a composer like me, that seems like a lot of drudge work!!! I would much rather get on to composing newer pieces.

    At any rate, when I recently acquired Finale 2011 (which is my first upgrade since Finale 2003!), I promised myself that I would go through all that drudge work again and reconstruct all of the scores to my pieces. Thanks to the interest of people like you, it gives me a tremendous incentive to do that, and in the same process, I can re-record some of the more popular of my works, and the "Ark" piece is currently the most popular work I have on the Internet, so that will be my very first project.

    Thank you again for the comments and encouragement... That really makes my day coming from someone like you!

    Arvid

    {P.S. -- I am also working on a piece that will include music from other cultures, such as Pakistan and India, but that's a story for another day. I am also in the process of creating a .PDF copy of the "Buddha" score and I will post it soon.)
    Arvid Hand
    Theory-Comp./Piano
    ASCAP

  6. #6

    Re: GOS1: "David Brings the Ark into Jerusalem" by Arvid Hand

    Arvid

    seems I neglected to comment on this piece, which is a very varied and highly evocative piece of programme music ... well worth listening to for music lovers of all genres ... if there are any here have missed it.

    Peter

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