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Rosśa Crean is a multi-genre recording artist and composer, so don't be afraid of the variety! You can also listen to a lot of Rosśa's work at Soundcloud by clicking here.

Rosśa is always for hire for multimedia and film projects as well. Check out the COMPOSITIONS page to listen to past works!

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Lullabies for Trying Times

Ross Crean

A mix of Gaelic traditional tunes and contemporary songs in English make this a lullaby album for the parents who want more than the usual lullaby.

"Lullabies for Trying Times" is a collection of Gaelic and English lullaby songs, which Ross Crean created for his mother, Charleen, who passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in July of 2014. "My mother begged me for years to record a lullaby-type album," Crean said, "as did many of my friends who were having children. The only thing they all requested was that I make it listenable and interesting for them as adults, so I chose a few traditional favorites as well as composing a few original songs."

During the pre-production process, Ross' mother was diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer. "After my Mum's diagnosis, I knew immediately that I had to record 'Siúil A Rún'. She sang that song all the time when I was a baby, and it was my chance to pay her back with a gift of that song, so I did a version that she would have enjoyed." Charleen quickly succumbed to the cancer three weeks after her diagnosis. "All we could do was watch," Ross said, "and when she was close to the end, I was able to bring in a copy of the song, and let her hear it. At that point, she was very incoherent, but when I asked her if she wanted to hear the song, she said a very solid YES. I put the earphones in her ears and let it play. I saw tears, and I knew I had gotten it to her just in time. She was still in there, and above anything else, I was so grateful to have that last chance. She was always the first one to listen to my songs, and I was damned is she didn't get to hear that one."

Many of the songs on "Lullabies for Trying Times" are piano accompanied, but also included the drone-infused "Taladh Chriosta", the folk guitar driven "A Fighter's Lullaby" (originally written for the CHERUBS Organization, which helps raise funds for children with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia disorder, also known as CDH), an orchestral accompanied version of the traditional song "Bheir Mé Ó", and the song "All Through the Night", in which Crean uses harp and clarinet to reflect the sense of innocence the words convey.

A tear-jerker here is the song "Madeleine", which tells the story of two inseparable 6-year-old children who were fighting leukemia at the children's hospital Ross volunteered. "Yes, some of these songs are sad in nature,"Ross said, "but I think those that know and hear the story are able to keep in perspective what an amazing connection these two kids had between them. When one was dying, the other one said, 'I'll be right behind you', and kept his promise, passing away two days later. You never expect children to say things like that, or even know how to console others. That's what made this pretty incredible to me."

BIO Award-winning singer-songwriter and composer, Ross Crean, began his professional career as an operatic Bass-Baritone, specializing in avant-garde and 20th century classical music. A graduate of Illinois State University in Music Theory/Composition, he has worked with Stephen Taylor, Augusta Read Thomas, and Nancy Van de Vate. He began training in several vocal styles in his teens, including rock, opera, sean-nos (traditional Gaelic singing), and Indian and Middle Eastern vocal ornamentation. Crean's three-octave range brought him several opportunities to perform pieces that required considerable vocal acrobatics. His emotionally-violent compositions "Missa Dementia", "The Mysteries of Uncle Archibald", and "Xenophysius Obscura" brought the composer/performer a lot of critical acclaim in Europe. By the age of 25, he had performed with the Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Moscow Symphonies, as well as the Parisian Chamber Consort.

In 2005 Crean founded his own record label, Knight & Thorne Music, and has performed worldwide as a solo artist, from the The Knitting Factory to Carnegie Hall. His critically acclaimed albums "Blackwater" and "Lovers and Other Kinds of Monsters" have been featured on Skope TV, Much Music, Fuse TV, and Comcast OnDemand.

You can see and hear more of Ross Crean's work by going to www.rosscrean.com.

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Libretto by Aiden K. Feltkamp 
Music by Rosśa Crean 
Inspired by the writings of Marie-Madeleine (Gertrud Günter) and Ronald K. Siegel, PhD All new translations from the original German by the librettist 

Commissioned by the International Museum of Surgical Science for their exhibit “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” 

 

I. The Awakening 

Forensic science is the art of resurrection, 
recreating history through the magic of DNA and fingerprints and handwritten secrets decoded from the particular curves in “dear” and “do not leave me.” 

See here, the ink-fossil of Baroness Gertude Günter von Puttkamer-- the Jewish lesbian erotic poet, Marie-Madeleine, 
who taunted the Nazis with her bright red hardcovers 
and incendiary turns of phrase. 

That’s me. 

The Nazis tried to burn me, 
to bury my words, all memory of my existence, in war-ridden soil. 
They tried, 
but they failed. 

 

II. In Salvation and In Sin 

(Adaptation and translation of “Ich träumte von dir” from Auf Kypros) 

I dreamt of you. -- One summer night, pale blue and trembling at the riverside in all your golden-curled splendor, 
you wanted my burning mouth. 

I've known no fever, no hellfire burning so hot as the sickness in my heart. 
Your wicked eyes shone, 
two abysses like cliffs at the waters’ edge - - my soul sank into them. 

The madness-making moonlight with its sickly pallor 
splayed death over your face 
as I pressed you to me. 

With my yielding, lecherous mouth 
I drank dry your heart's blood 
in the summer night, in the midnight hour when the seacrests sing and surge. 

-- I dreamt only this. 

 

III. Morphine 

The Papaver somniferum,the opium poppy, evolved to defend itself. 
Producing a thick, white milk, 
it deters predators, 

and those foolish enough to bite 
kneel to its bitter, sleep-inducing chemicals. Humans harvested the power of the poppy and named it after the Greek god of dreams. 

I first tangled with that seductive god 
when the male doctors decided 
I was too distraught at my husband’s deathbed. I was too hysterical. 
They shot me up 
without my consent. 

The cool calm crawled under my skin. 

 

IV. Tumbling 

(inspired by “Das Fieber,” “Kokaïn,” and “Der letzte Rausch”)

In darkness, in this terrible place 

completely removed from the world, 
he approached without a sound, without warning... this monster, my uninvited guest... 

My tired heart drags hotter 
until the dream-clouds about me are violent red. Shine, ever effervescent, 
fill me with a marrow-deep delight! 

More! More! 
Burn me inside 
until wings sprout on my savage soul and I fall 
headlong 
into the beckoning bottomless pit. 

I am always -- still! -- so long! -- stuck in this cursed place, 
this city so heavily damned 
that it will never rise again. 

I can only groan with desire -- take me down, Thanatos! 

I can’t breathe in these streets, I can’t find a living body, they’ve all forgotten---- 

My lips, worn down by fever, cradle my last screech: 
I need to get out! 
I’m penned in all around-- these walls will outlast me. 

I have nothing left but you: 
my most beloved, my very last ecstasy! 

 

V. The Harvest Song 

Poppies are monocarpic-- 
they die after flowering. 
Their showy petals are crumpled in the bud; as blooming finishes, the petals lie flat before falling away. 

But I am polycarpic, 
flowering again and again, 
blooming ever brighter 
until I’m corporal again, 
sinew and fingertips and bone again. 

The Nazis are real and they are here. They will try to drive us 
once more into the dirt. 
But my soul persists, 

triumphant, 
after all my tormentors are dead. 

 

VI. The Flower of Oblivion 

(Adaptation and translation of “Die Blume des Vergessens”) 

The sky was a poppy-- 
bleeding, torn to shreds, and falling-- and as the sunset fled like a soft dream, the night tumbled onto the world. 

Braided up into the night’s wings, 
I sobbed out my heartache. 
Only the wild beasts who die in howling torment sink beside me to this loneliness so primeval. 

You sunset, you fire, watch 
the bleeding poppy embroiled in that seething mass of clouds-- I need oblivion’s shimmering bloom-- 
I rip it down from Heaven! 

I’ll wind purple wreaths 
around my heart to stop its weeping. 
I’ll find the deepest dark 
within that dream where we’re united forever.