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Loving Mad Tom Cover Design


Loving Mad Tom-(1989-1990, 2005)

(marimba & orchestra)

-marimba concerto

Music by: Andrew Thomas
Poem by:

Copyright © PA1-349-843

Information, rental, parts, score, & piano reduction are available through: ACA- American Composers Alliance
Also, score, & piano reduction are available through: Steve Weiss Music (US) & Bluemallet (Japan)

Recording:2008 Opus One Records #197 - The Polish State Radio Symphony,
Simon Boyar, marimba; & Andrew Thomas, Conductor
Attn: Max Schubel, Opus One, Box 604 Greenville, ME 04441-0604, USA (207) 997-3581)

Loving Mad Tom is scored for:

2 Flutes (1st Flute doubles Piccolo)
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets in Bb
2 Bassoons
4 Horns in F
2 Trumpets in Bb
2 Tenor Trombones
1 Bass Trombone
1 Tuba
1 Percussion
-----(2 optional playing the following):
-----Tubular Chimes
-----3 Timpani
-----Concert Bass Drum
-----Tam Tam
-----Snare Drum
Strings (minimum 10-10-8-6-4)

from the poem, Loving Mad Tom

From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend ye
All the spirits that stand by the naked man
In the Book of Moons defend ye!
That of your five sound senses
You never be forsaken
Nor wander from yourselves with Tom
Abroad to beg your bacon.

While I do sing ‘Any food, any feeding,
Feeding, drink, or clothing’
Come dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

O thirty bare years have I
Twice twenty been enragèd,
And of forty been three times fifteen
In durance soundly cagèd
On the lordly lofts of Bedlam,
With stubble soft and dainty,
Brave bracelets strong, sweet whip's ding dong,
With wholesome hunger plenty.

With an host of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear, and a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.
By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summoned am to tourney,
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end.
Me thinks it is no journey.

Seventeenth Century - Anonymous,

I dedicate Loving Mad Tom to William Moersch. When he commissioned me to compose a Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra, this poem leapt into my mind as a dramatic program for the work. The narrator's raffish and alarming personality, his desperate hunger, zest for life, bitterly comic language, and barely suppressed violence grab the reader's attention like a scene from today's streets.

The four stanzas I chose from the poem each personify one movement of the Concerto. The music opens upon a pastoral country scene. Bizarre rapping sounds, emanating from within the string section, interrupt this idyllic landscape as Tom approaches a cottage. He begs for food. At the Marimba's entrance, he conjures up the horrors of the road, and of the insane mind. The incantatory music of the first movement proceeds without pause into a vigorous begging dance. Here, in the second stanza, Tom is agile, stiff, funny, ingratiating, and just a bit frightening. His statement that poor Tom will injure nothing may or may not be true. In the third stanza he describes his confinements at the Bedlam lunatic asylum. The music invokes flat, enchained expanses of time, scurrying rats in the walls, and a flogging. In the last stanza Tom sees himself as a knight adventurer. I find his charm greatest here as he follows his vision "ten leagues beyond the wide world's end." He is a frightening lunatic. He is also an artist entering the wilderness, battling with strange forms. apparitions, and possibilities. This movement is a celebration of his questing spirit.

Dedicated in loving memory of Richard E. Drake & Jeff Mulholland

Ballet Scenario:
Music can be a passive entertainment or a means of exploration. As an exploration, the audience becomes an integral part of the performance. Both the music and the following scenario are poetic aids to direct, but not to define the audio-image.

“Loving Mad Tom” is both accessible and a stretch for the listener. It juxtaposes the understood with the fear of total understanding.

Tom awakes and is drawn by the sound of the bells.
Tom is a solitary being though he is kept by others.
He is and always will be disconnected.
He is surrounded by crowds even when no one is there.

Tom joins the festival.
The joyous madness of the revellers draws Tom to emulate.
Two experiences are happening simultaneously;
The town folk are releasing. Tom is loosing control.

Tom is restrained.
Tom’s nature swirls within the ebb and flow of any stimulus.
He is not a part of the current. He is only propelled by it.
He observes his madness though he is unable to reflect upon it.

Tom is protected by the town.
The people laugh at his antics while they fear understanding them.
All are exploring themselves while transfixed on Tom.
In a strange way they are protecting their own sanity.


Premiered: 1989 -The Shreveport Symphony, William Moersch, marimba; Peter Leonard, Conductor
Also: 1998 - Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Evelyn Glennie, marimba; Vladimir Ashkenazy, Conductor
2005 - Seoul: The Korean Symphony, Simon Boyar,
marimba; Andrew Thomas, Conductor