(a setting of) The Conqueror Worm

A setting of The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe for Chamber Ensemble as read by Paula Munk.

Paula Munk is really Char from MacJams here:  http://www.macjams.com/artist/Char

Char has a running project where her voice is “chipmunked” and in this setting, after some thinking, I think the chipmunk voice works great since it gives Poe’s poem this bizarre children’s hour twist.  This piece was realized in Sonar 8.5 and with Garritan Personal Orchestra 4.0  – not the most complex contemporary classical piece – the motive that begins in the marimba hangs the piece together harmonically (stacked 5ths) as well as the unexciting percussion motive which is carried through the piece.





Score (reduced to eighth note resolution for compactness)


The Conqueror Worm

LO! ‘t is a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years.
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly;
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their condor wings
Invisible Woe.

That motley drama—oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot;
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude:
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And over each quivering form
In human gore imbued.

Out—out are the lights—out all!
And over each quivering form
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

3 Responses to “(a setting of) The Conqueror Worm”

  1. Reg says:

    Excellent i’ve always loved this never quite heard it read this way but throughly enjoyed it

  2. Michael Kasper says:

    Dear Chris,

    The Paul Monk voice reminders of Alvin and Chipmunks reading this is hilarious. Nice!



  3. admin says:

    The voice certainly puts a different spin on Poe 😉

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