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Topic: "Abandoned Orphanage"

  1. #1

    "Abandoned Orphanage"

    "Abandoned Orphanage"
    Michael John

    My musical gift to everyone today! A short original composition all made with Garritan:

    Garritan Authorized Steinway
    GPO4 Celeste
    GPO4 cello 2
    GPO4 cello 3
    GPO4 choir

    Listen here:
    (click Play Song, 160Kbps streaming wma, must use IE or FF, Chrome does not work)

    This piece was inspired from the pics and info I found about the The Holy Family Orphans’ Home, a large abandoned and dilapidated 4 store brick facility that was open for over 50 years in Marquette MI, and could accommodate 200 children at any time.

    What was life like for a child in a large orphanage 70 years ago? Well in this orphanage, run by nuns who "kept a strict routine", Phil Niemisto, who lived at the Home from 1929 to 1941, recalls rather fond memories:

    "...Our days were pretty regimented. But we didn’t know any different. Everything was well organized...we all slept in a big dormitory, the girls in one wing, the boys in the other. We got up early, about 6:00 a.m., made our beds and knelt and said prayers. After that, we had breakfast, it was pretty institutional food, mostly cereal and toast."

    "Then we’d go to chapel for more prayers, classes started at 9:00 a.m. and went until 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. There was recess and a break for lunch, which usually was a hot meal. We’d do our homework, then we had playtime...there were swings and a teeter-totter, the regular kind of playground equipment...they showed us a lot of movies. We went on outings. They would take us out to the Island for the day. In winter, we went tobogganing on the hill..."

    "We were always well remembered at Christmas...Santa Claus always came, and most of the kids would get two or three gifts. The downtown merchants were good about donating toys and food. They always put on a big dinner for us. I loved it there...the people were really good to me. They looked after me like I was one of their own."

    See pics here of the now dilapidated building:

    Read more from Phil Niemisto in the "Home away from home" article here:

  2. #2
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: "Abandoned Orphanage"

    Hey Mike!!
    I thoroughly love this! Great, evocative work on the piano and the Cello, even the Choir sounded good. Nice work on this!!! Also, I looked at every pic of the Orphanage and get the spooky feeling, if only walls could talk!
    Well crafted music with supporting documentation adds up to a much appreciated presentation!

    Thanks for sharing - best of the Season to you!

    sd cisco

  3. #3

    Re: "Abandoned Orphanage"

    Thanks for posting this. It's a appropriately delicate piece. I can relate to it, since my mother was raised in an orphanage. I've heard a few nasty stories: not really horror, but they involved quite some cruelty and carelessness from the Christian organization that ran it. My mother's one goal in life was that her children would never ever have to experience such a thing. Fortunately, after she left the orphanage, life was a lot better for her, and her wish was granted.

    Merry Christmas.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: "Abandoned Orphanage"

    Really liked listening to this as I looked at the photos. I thought the piece quite beautiful. With the photos,and the story that is all to easy to imagine, it made for a very touching "whole". On their own, both the music and the photos are compelling - together, they make quite a strong statement. Very nicely done.

    Thanks for posting and sharing this.

    Happy New Year!
    Ron Pearl





  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New York City

    Re: "Abandoned Orphanage"

    This was a great piece! I was expecting more of a horror-style piece but was happily surprised it was more enchanting. Absolutely beautiful and haunting. Great orchestation, too. Using those few instruments was a great choice! And thank you for offering it as a download for us.
    - Michael
    - Michael Fortunato

  6. #6

    Re: "Abandoned Orphanage"

    sd cisco - those pics are spooky indeed! thanks for comments

    - thanks for sharing about your mother. Some kids have a bad experience, others do not.

    rpearl - thanks, I did aim to make the music fit the pics. The piece turned out more cinematic then classical.

    mfortunato - thanks! I also like the sparse instrumentation approach, which I think makes it more intimate.

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