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The Haunted Heaven

By Michael Moriarty
web posted May 23, 2011

In the face of such growing insanity within the Islamic Middle East, I have chosen to concentrate on my longer term projects such as this memoir, The Haunted Heaven. If time is running out for everyone, I had better concentrate on what my entire life has been leading toward.


So far, I have based the design for this memoir or quasi-autobiography on a musical score for my own life story.

Since the number of my symphonic works are growing, four of them – a string symphony, a dance suite, Pablo Bach and now, in my very hands, the new and utterly completed score of Concerto For Orchestra – I will entrust my autobiography to the rather determined inspirations of my music.

Shaping The Haunted Heaven after the soul of my evolving Seeds or musical ideas for larger orchestral works, I trust this symbiosis will inspire both my creativity and this memoir in particular.

I've had three previous tries at an autobiography. Now approaching my 71st year of life, I began to despair of ever finding the perfect title.

My new one, The Haunted Heaven, seems the best … so far.

All great heavens on earth are haunted.

We shall meet, even in the next life, the most surprising guests at our table.

The drama only begins on earth … and what is a drama without darkness?

Darkness itself is our very first boogeyman.

Boogey Men are what make us human, are what remind us of our relatively minute size, our vulnerabilities and, of course, our disturbingly brief visits to earth: not to mention our potential and inevitably homicidal encounters with Evil.

Joseph StalinHere is one of the great Boogey Men:                        

More about him and other Great Boogey Men throughout my life in this record of my adventures.

Obviously I had to get back to my music at full tilt before the realization, the Big One, arrived: my life as a Haunted Heaven.

On my computer screen there is the photo of some major, oriental city. If anything haunts me these days, it is the Orient.

The Orient has been inserting itself into my most recent compositions. The fourth movement of five within my Concerto For Orchestra is introduced as Andante Orientale. You can even hear the Far East's very sparse feeling in the "development" measures of the Concerto's second movement.

Italian Chinese?

… something like that.

What has given me the inspiration to compose for symphony orchestra?

My childhood memories and, at this point, my success so far.

My Symphony for String Orchestra has been performed with consistently respectful notices in New York and Calgary. The latter venue was the most satisfying, hearing it performed by a full, modern, major symphonic string section.

Those, however, were still my drinking days and … well … because of Dionysian abandon, I have burned, quite ubiquitously, more than a few bridges.

However, as Glenn Beck so joyously and productively brought himself back from the brink of death from alcohol, so can I.

Actually so have I! Sober now for almost seven years!!

Retiring from drinking to concentrate upon my music and this memoir.

Every morning now is an exciting prospect, a state of wonderment over what will fall to the lines and spaces of my musical staves.

I have a symphonic narrative which gives me the overview I need for such a long term project.

I also have the lives and music of all the greatest composers of history at the touch of my computer keys.

Lest I postpone the beginning of my autobiography, let me end this brief introduction with the hope and prayer that its journey and the orchestral music accompanying it will shed some inspirational light even upon the lives of its readers and listeners. ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com.


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