“Music is humanity’s common heritage and language. It moves us and reminds us of our similarities and bonds…” EBB
Edmund Barton Bullock leads a unique double career as composer and pianist with success, performing his own major works and chamber music throughout the United States and Europe. In July 2017, Bullock’s “Fantasy”, based on My Country ’tis of Thee, for piano solo, commissioned by the French SACEM, was premiered by the composer as pianist in the Festival International de Musique en Occitanie, of which Bullock is co-founder and artistic director. This work serves as the third work sample, with a YouTube video of that live concert.
In June 2016, Bullock’s Te Deum, for mixed chorus, children’s chorus, soloists and organ, commissioned by the Fondation du Patrimoine de France (Heritage Foundation of France) was premiered on the occasion of the restoration of the unique collection of stained-glass windows by gothic-renaissance master, Arnaud de Moles in the Cathedral Sainte-Marie of Auch in France. The event was held under the patronage of His Royal Highness, Prince Henrik of Denmark; regional governors and high church officials of France; Knights of the Order of Malta. The Te Deum serves as the second work sample for the application, with a YouTube video mixed with images of the stained-glass windows.
In the summer of 2010, after ceremonial supplication by Grandmother Red Leaf, Greatly Beloved Woman of the Native American Cherokee tribe, Bullock received the spiritual name of “Stone Weaver.” Red Leaf then wrote, “Stone Weaver feels the vibration of the Mother Earth, and captures these fragile vibrations and weaves them into silken threads of sound which come from the eternal vibrations of the heart of the mother. He then skillfully weaves these sounds into strands which are joined together to form the voice of the Trees, the Water, the Plant People, the Four-Legged, the Winged Ones, the Wind People, The Star Nation, and all that Is. The Old Ones sing to him from the Trees.”
This initiation led to the development of another major composition which is the first work sample of the application, entitled The Awakening of Humanity, an oratorio in collaboration with American novelist and librettist St. Leger “Monty” Joynes. The first two movements of the work were performed three times in 2015. The libretto and the music of the oratorio The Awakening of Humanity honor Native American metaphysical values that hold all creation to be sacred, and all humanity to be connected. They form a bridge between cultures as a means to heal historic injustices. The Awakening of Humanity is an Honor Gift to all people who yearn for righteousness and an end to separation. A premiere performance of the first two movements given in France by the ensemble vocal Unité under the artistic direction of Christian Nadalet can be viewed here.
One of Bullock’s major symphonic works is the Appalachian Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, commissioned for the installment ceremonies of the Appalachian State University Chancellor in April 2005. Its French premiere, with Bullock at the piano, was performed twice in May of 2008 by the Orchestre de la Cité Internationale de Paris. It was then performed twice by the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina in February 2009. A performance of the Appalachian Concerto can be viewed below.
From 2013-2017, Bullock also had a unique musical association with the Prince Consort of Denmark, who passed away on February 13, 2018, and has composed two song cycles based on Prince Henrik’s award-winning French poetry. A cycle of six songs based on his collection Cantabile was performed at the Château de Cayx, the French residence of the Prince and the Queen of Denmark, in August 2014. An excerpt of this performance may be viewed here. Another song cycle based on poems in the Prince’s collection La Part des Anges (The Angels Portion) was commissioned by Prince Henrik’s Foundation, whose world premiere was given in July 2016 at the Festival International de Musique en Occitanie in Palaminy, France.
The Festival International de Musique en Occitanie will present a concert in Toulouse on the evening of July 8, 2018 in memory of the Prince Henrik of Denmark, in which several of the commissioned French art songs will be performed, with French soprano, Sylvia Cazeneuve and the composer as pianist.