The Fomorians were a mythological race believed to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. There are two distinctly different mythologies based upon the origins of this race.
According to an 11th century text called The Book of the Dun Cow, the Fomorians, whose name means 'dark of the sea,' were a race of Gaelic demons said to have the body of a man and the head of a goat. The second, and less fantastic story, states that the Fomorians were an ancient sea-faring race thought to have originated in Northern Africa or Asia, perhaps the same race that at one point invaded Spain.
This composition, The Myth of the Fomorians, is inspired by that second myth. It poses the musical question; What would the music of Ireland sound like if it were strongly influenced by the Moorish traditions of northern Africa and Spain?
The work begins with a dance rooted in traditional Irish music while embracing the harmonic language of Moorish Spain and the rhythms of Northern Africa. The second movement builds to a rasgueado and slur section that evokes both the spirit of the oud and the flamenco guitar traditions of Spain. The work closes with a slow decrescendo and decelerando that is followed by a brief and altered recapitulation of the movements initial theme that ends in subtle suspense.
These arrangements are based on four Taiwanese folk songs. Each setting contains a substantial amount of newly composed material. My goal has been to express the meaning behind the text while creating musical development within each piece. The four pieces were conceived as a set, but can be performed separately or in any effective combination of movements.
"Without exception, all of these songs are excellent in their own right and have been
well arranged by Nathan Kolosko who plays all the four pieces on the accompanying CD. Throughout
pages the music runs through a range of emotions: bitterness, joy, tragedy, humour, sadness and
done in the highest possible taste. Songs From Formosa is an absolutely delightful new release
I can thoroughly recommend to any player of at least Grade 7 seeking new stylish, attractive
- Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar, September 2008)