The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

The Tides of Manaunaun – Henry Cowell

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“The Tides of Manaunaun” (1912) from Three Irish Legends
Story according to John Varian which prefaces Cowell’s score:

“Manaunaun was the god of motion, and long before the creation, he sent forth tremendous tides, which swept to and fro through the universe, and rhythmically moved the particles and materials of which the gods were later to make the suns and worlds.”

Henry Cowell (1897-1965) was one of the most innovative American composers of the 20th-century and influenced a generation of American and European avant-gardists from Varèse and Nancarrow to Cage and Stockhausen. As a child, Cowell displayed a precocious musical talent and started learning the violin at the age of five. Although he received no formal music training during his childhood, he showed an interest in composition. In his teenage years he experimented with tone-clusters (a term he invented) and unconventional methods of playing the piano, such as plucking and strumming the strings.


Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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