Sapphire City Independent Music



A Rock Symphony



GENESIS - A Rock Symphony.

A Musical Interpretation of the Book of Genesis
for Synthesised Keyboard Ensemble, Modern Band, Brass Band and Orchestra.

Composed and Arranged by R. J. Burling

TOTAL TIME: 72min 49sec

A track by track summary of the story as interpeted by this music (clicking on a song will play the song for you).

1. Creation: The underlying theme through this piece of music is the gradual build up of intensity as the creation proceeds. Underlying most of the piece is the dominant heartbeat of life.

2. Garden Of Eden: To me the Garden Of Eden represents a place where everything was okay and there would be no stress of any kind. The closest we get to this is happy occasions. The appearance of the tempter in the story is heralded by a relatively subtle change in the melody. This is followed by God's intervention and the subsequent result of the difficulties of the banishment.

3. Noah And The Flood: God calls to Noah at the start of this piece. This is followed by a period of activity as the ark is built and readied. The inclusion of a recording of a real storm, recorded on the day the piece was written, highlights the flood. This is followed by a gentle section of music as the ark drifts upon the waters.

4. Tower Of Babel: The harmony in the first part of this section of music is contrasted at the end by conflicting sounds. In between the two is the intervention of God to remove the common language.

5. Abram: Abram’s life is one long journey. Hes is called from the comfortable life in his homeland to go to a land of promise that he doesn’t know where it actually is. He journeys through life with his total faith and trust in God.

6. Melchizedech: The encounter of Abram with Melchizedech follows a battle so we hear Abram's army marching back. In the second part, Melchizedech arrives with his donkey and then the two march together in the third part.

7. Abraham And The Promise: Whilst the tempo is different, this piece continues on from Abram. There has been some name changes with Abram now Abraham and his wife now Sarah. God speaks to Abraham and promises him a son, despite the couples age. Sarah scoffs at the idea but Abraham sees the promise fulfilled and Isaac is born with great fanfare.

8. Hagar And Ishmael: The association of Hagar and Ishmael with Abraham (and later with Isaac) is not really a pleasant one and the mood was quite often a little harsh. The music endeavours to create that harshness.

9. Sodom And Gomorrah: The "party" mood at the start of this piece represents the decadence of the society of these two places. In the second part, the music shifts to the dialogue between God and Abraham about these two communities, as Abraham pleads for his family living there. It is followed by the destruction. The monotone at the end to show life has been extinguished.

10. The Offering Of Isaac: Slow and plodding as Abraham seeks to follow God's command to sacrifice the promised son. The test is long and it is not until the final moment that God intervenes - Abraham has passed the test of his trust in God and his faith.

11. Isaac And Rebecca: This is a genuine love story. A story of love at first sight; one that was greatly blessed; and one that went without any real problems. The introduction of the vibraphone from the third verse represents the union of Isaac and Rebecca.

12. Esau And Jacob: The contrast between the soft and gentle yet scheming Jacob (clarinet) and the rough and wild Esau (distorted guitar) is offset with castanets to bring out the constant conflict between the two.

13. Jacob's Ladder: This complex piece of music represents the significance of Jacob's Dream of the stairway up to heaven as God reveals to him the special calling as the father of a nation.

14. Jacob, Rachel And Leah: The music builds in intensity with each verse as the obvious tension between Jacob and Laban over the treachery of the promise of Rachel unfolds and the consequential revenge by Jacob.

15. Jacob's Return: With his acquired wealth and large family, Jacob heads for home with a little fear.He is afraid of his brother, Esau, and what has happened in the past. He sends his family and possessions in groups before him in the hopes of pleasing his brother and gaining favour. Esau, on the other hand, is only too glad to welcome him home and is not concerned with the past.

16. Joseph And His Brothers: The synthesised vibrato sound of the melody is designed to bring out the fact that Joseph was different. The piccolo fills relating to the response of his brothers. The introduction of the tubular bells in the last section introduce the disposal of Joseph to the slave traders and the subsequent lies of his brothers to Jacob.

17. Joseph In Egypt: Joseph’s time in Egypt is a varied one, but the presence of God in his life is very apparent. There are three main phases: his service to Potiphar: his time in prison: and his service to the Pharaoh. His interpretation of dreams finally brings him to Pharaoh's attention when the king has a dream that perplexes him. Joseph is able to interpret that dream and prepare Egypt for the great famine that is soon to come.

18. The Great Famine: There is a crying and wailing across the land as a vast famine spreads throughout the region. Joseph, in Egypt, had advised the Pharaoh that this famine was coming some seven years earlier and Egypt had stored up food during those years of plenty. Now, as the famine bites hard, the world around Egypt comes to buy food. Among those who come are Joseph’s brothers. Joseph decides to teach them a lesson before finally revealing who he really is as they did not recognise him.

19. Israel Comes To Egypt: The people of Israel accept the invitation and, with all their possessions, this small band of people move into Egypt to be cared for by the lost family member, Joseph. Here they grow to be a great nation.

20. Jacob's Blessing And Death: This was generally a happy and joyous occasion, for the blessing by a patriarch was something special to people living in those times, despite the fact that it usually meant the imminent death of the patriarch. Each of the descendants would have waited eagerly for what Jacob had to say to them as an individual. The blessings over, Jacob’s death now comes to pass and this era of Israel’s history has now concluded.

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Downloading the album (68MB in size) will give you all 20 songs plus the CD Insert cover (actual size for printing) and a PDF file of the contents that will also fit in a CD case. The file is a zipped file and will need to be unzipped.

ORDER CD Number: SEM2002002