Camelot And Freedom #1 Elinor Remick Warren

For composer and pianist Elinor Remick Warren, date of birth 23rd February, 1900, music was an inextricable Ji part of her family life.

Her talent for creating melody was discovered by her mum when Elinor sat as a toddler beside her at the piano keyboard. Later on, Elinor’s second husband made certain that their children fully understood that their mother’s creativity was almost never to be challenged, jokingly warning them: “Only if you break a leg may you interrupt your mother when she’s composing.”

Like Indonesia’s great women’s rights pioneer, R A Kartini, Warren’s life of almost nine decades of unique achievement in music began and was sustained in having a family that understood and protected her.

Warren’s major symphonic composition for orchestra, The Legend of King Arthur, had been brewing in her mind since her days at the Westlake School when she heard a teacher read from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. “I was so (mesmerized and) thrilled with that part of it called ‘The Passing of Arthur,’ It just took hold of me, and I knew I wanted to set it to music.”

In the perhaps semi historical world of King Arthur, the legendary king ruled via consultation with his knights at a round table in their seat of government at Camelot.

How close has the modern world in which Elinor Warren lived come to ever having a real Camelot?

I see many possibilities:

Either Roosevelt? Bob Menzies? Bung Karno?

The imaginative kingdoms of any or all of Hank or Frank or Elvis or John, Paul, George and Ringo?

Jackie’s fabled husband?

Bob Dylan’s literary conquest of the comparative inanities of rock ‘n roll with Bringing It all Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde?

Van Morrison’s one man spiritual renaissance conceived out of tussles with contractual conflicts in old Belfast but reborn in New York to the catacombs of the century’s sound of freedom as Astral Weeks?

Joni Mitchells sublime totally female emotional triumph on Blue?

The many spirits inspired by Iwan Fals and Kantata Takwa’s triumphal hymn against tyranny, Kesaksian?

Gough Whitlam? The Gipper? Gus Dur? Jokowi? The Donald?

Arthur was probably a legend but the above figures were definitely real.

The true human spirit needs its life of dreams.

It is where we find ourselves.

Warren said of the creative process she needed to do her work: “How can one listen to the inner voice except in aloneness?”

Remick Warren was a truly beautiful woman, mother and composer.

Geoff Fox, 23rd February, 2023, Terra Australis

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