Amergin and Cessair
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Amergin and Cessair is a musical setting of the text "Amergin and Cessair: A Battle of Poetic Incantation" by Michael Meade and Erica Helm Meade. The music takes the form of a dramatic "duet," scored for double choir and chamber orchestra. It depicts an exchange of self-exalting verses proclaimed by the two demigods Amegin and Cessair. Cessair--an early inhabitant of Ireland--uses her verses to churn the sea and fend off ship-borne Amergin, who in turn calms the sea with his verses. Musically, the two characters are distinguished by their own unique melodic motives, harmonic sonorities, and instrumentations. The drama of the battle unfolds over the course of the fifteen-minute work, and ultimately Amergin is the victorious one. Overall, the work expresses the pride, determination, and intense emotionality of the two characters objectively, without taking the side of either one, and it is an allegory for cultural conflict.