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Chapter Forty-One of Keeping Score In America: Fellini or Zampano Or Both!

By Michael Moriarty
web posted April 7, 2014

I hear my darling Irene begin to translate my Finale Score for my Symphony For Strings into the much more realistic sounds of the Vienna Symphonic Library.

Begun in the 1980's, Symphony For String Orchestra has had a most Dickensian history.

Made a virtual orphan at the height of its success, this first major symphonic work of mine was briefly mentioned in my 2012 article for Ottawa Life Magazine.

"Oh, I've had, as many might know, my ups and downs during my 15-year experience with Canada. The highest point, until now, however, was when the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra performed my Symphony for Strings. I blush with pride to say it shared the stage with Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait! The evening was the opposite of American Graffiti. With the additional opportunity I had of sharing the life and words of Abraham Lincoln with a Calgary audience, the honor bestowed upon me by Canadian musicians engraves upon my soul not only eternal gratitude but the unforgettable ecstasy of hearing my creation offered up by an exquisitely large and flawlessly expert ensemble of violini, violi, celli and soul-rumbling bassi."

Why an orphan?

I'm an alcoholic.

Despite sobriety for over ten years, I am, as all alcoholics are, still an alcoholic.

I inherited the condition from an indisputably alcoholic family: my mother, my father, myself and my sister as well.

During my ten heavy drinking years, composing, as with everything else in my life, just fled from sight.

It is a miracle that I am alive.

My smoking and drinking drove me into heart failure and the experts gave me six months to live.

That was another ten years ago.

Why God has spared me?

My music.

About that I have no doubt.

On 77gelsomina all the music is mine but all the visuals and the VSL quality is "Gelsomina's".


Gelsomina is my wife's nom de plum.

It is originally the name Federico Fellini gave to the character in La Strada performed by his wife, Giulietta Masina.

My wife, Irene Mettler, has with her self-image as gelsomina, conferred on me levels of expectation way beyond my cinematic capacities, either as Federico Fellini or Anthony Quinn's Zampano.

I do, however, feel that my music, if I live another ten years to complete my body of work, will carve its own, very solid place into musical history.

Why do I feel that way?

Just a life-long hunch.

I'm 72 years old now.

That early vision is, by now, more than a hunch. 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. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.






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