A Composer's Life
Conick, considered one of Erinn's greatest composers, was born to a modest household in Emain Macha. He was raised by his mother, Clarevie, a devout musician in the employ of the Lymilark Church. She often shared her passion for music with her children by playing the lyre for them. Modern scholars believe that the reason Conick composed so many solo pieces for the lyre is precisely because he grew up listening to Clarevie play.
It's no surprise that Conick showed great musical aptitude at a young age.
At the age of three, he memorized a church choir chorus after hearing them sing it only once.
By the age of four, he'd learned to play the lyre simply by watching his mother's performances.
When Clarevie realized how talented her son was, she used her church connections to arrange tutoring for her son with some of the time's greatest musical minds. By the age of six, one year into his musical education, Conick had already composed his first song.
- Meetings, Partings, and Potions
When Conick was older, Clarevie moved her family to Tara in order to support his career. She once again used her church connections to meet the Bishop, who arranged a private concert before Ethur Mac Cuill the First. This concert is the subject of a popular story about Conick, in which he played for the King a difficult piece with his eyes closed. He didn't miss a note, of course.
The King was so moved by Conick's performance that he appointed him the music director of the Royal Orchestra. Just as his career in music was beginning to take off, Conick met the love of his life: a musician named Maria.
Maria, a soloist in the Royal Orchestra, was quickly won over by Conick's famous charm, and the two became engaged. Their happiness was not to last, as Clarevie insisted that romance would only distract Conick from his music.
Conick obeyed his mother's wishes, but it's said that his relationship with Clarevie was never the same after that.
It wasn't long after this that Clarevie's life was taken in a tragic carriage accident. Within one year, Conick suffered the loss of his one true love and the loss of his mother. It was at this time that Conick turned to potion abuse. (When it comes to potion addiction in the musical world, most people think of Carasek. However, Conick was the first to popularize potion use among musicians. Carasek's incident just happens to be the most prominent one of our generation.)
From the death of his mother while he was still a young man, up until his death thirty years later, Conick's life was dominated by an ever-growing need for more potions. This was also an intensely creative period of his life, during which he composed his most famous works, such as Airgetlam, Flute Cantabile, and Beach Cantata. His final piece, Requiem for Maria and Clarevie, was also composed during this period.
His fans in the church refused to believe that potion addiction was the cause of his death. They claimed that he poured a little of his soul into every piece he composed, and so when he completed his final symphony, there was nothing left to do but die.
As romantic as this theory is, most historians agree that it was his growing addiction to potions that led to his declining health and eventual death.
In spite of his vices, Conick was beloved by all, and life in Tara stopped for three full days as they mourned his death. The kingdom had to ban the playing of his work just to bring the city back into order.
Thankfully, we're now free to listen to Conick's music, but it wasn't too long ago that even speaking his name could lead to a hefty fine.
No matter how you feel about his personal choices, Conick changed the world of music forever. He assimilated the styles and techniques of traditional music, and blended it with contemporary sensibilities to create the genres of music we enjoy today. Without Conick's influences, we probably wouldn't have had musical greats like Audran, Kenough, or Myrenn.
Even today, Conick is a popular baby name amongst music lovers.
- In Closing
Conick came from humble beginnings, led a tumultuous life, and vanished before his time. But for all that, his great accomplishments will live on forever.