Friday, June 29, 2007

If love be the food of music

John Duykers and I were on the radio last Sunday on KRCB, the local NPR station near his home in Sebastopol. He's a farmer as well as an internationally renowned opera singer, so he was the one invited onto what was ostensibly a food show, to wit Mouthful. A direct link to the podcast is here but it's also on iTunes. John brought in a lovely dish consisting of multiple potato species, kale, collards, and a buttery spicy drizzle. I would say that, if one wants to work in opera, one should make sure that the artists with which one works should provide at least one of your other basic human needs besides artistic fulfillment, e.g. companionship, fresh organic produce, sex, laughter, knowledge, linguistics, and so on. Maybe in a future post I will present a bipartite graph where the one of the two disjoint sets consists of my artistic partners and the other my basic human needs and the readers will be invited to draw in their guesses as to the graph edges. But I was on the show to provide some musical interludes (the quite lovely numbers brightness 2 and Casus Tertius) But work on Mordake is heating up in preparation for Frieder Weiss to come and give the visuals the Frieder touch. Light, but persuasive.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bad poetry

Once again Jim Bisso and I found ourselves on DJ Bunnywhiskers, this time reading our favorite bad poetry, some badly written, some badly or baldly sentimental, some bad by its very nature. The show is here, good and bad mystical unicorn poetry is here, and some pro-war poetry of the Axis and the Central Powers and the Allies of both world wars is here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just fucking figure it out already

In the olden days, artists had the ability to actually do something, to complete something, to present a work complete, like Athena born whole from the head of Zeus. This is no longer a possibility. Now it seems that artists must only explore, consider, collaborate, engage in dialog, but please to never actually conclude, to state, to stand firm. I, for one, have little interest in seeing an artist's process, or knowing from whencesoever they came. Rather, I would prefer for them to go away, to leave me alone while they scrive their small efforts, staving off that time of the reaping of their souls, and then, when they have finished exploring and considering and collaborating, to share their destination with me, Lake Victoria in all its glory, and to skip the slide show, the home movies of their long and difficult trip up the Nile.

But, before I go, let me share just a few examples of what is raising my pique. OK? Yes. Here we go:

... will explore the ambiguous and changing nature of our relationship to living in a post-private society, where personal electronic information ...

The play will explore the rise in America of new white male empowerment in relation to a diversifying American culture.

The overall intention of the work is to explore the nature of communion with the infinite, and the opening of--the soaring of--the human heart. ...

The work will explore architecture as a fundamental, subliminal force intervening in the human narrative, braiding artistic exigencies, topical dramas and ...

...will explore the historical origins and the complex identity issues faced by conversos while speaking to the larger question of ...

In our sex comedy, we have outlined the following scene:

Arts Commision: banker, bishop, duc and judge, done as a scene from 120 days of Sodom. Old whore reads from the proposals typing notes on a laptop while the work samples are played and the four discuss. The four on the jury take off on tangents about fucking boys in chambers, shitting on the host, stuffing cash up the cunt of a prostitute. The old whore tells a story inspired by at least one of these. My work sample could be a setting of jet of blood. Jim’s lyric poem on the first 15 seconds after a consecrated host (at what point does it transubstantiate?) enters a whore’s vagina (pushed in by the black priest’s cock (editor's note: black as in black mass, not black as in African American)). The latter is what triggers the cash in cunt of prostitute story. They don’t like our proposal. It is clear they do not understand it. The second proposal The SHEro of the Warsaw Ghetto is an uplifting story about the Jewish uprising told entirely by shadow puppets viz the Platonic shadows on the cave wall, stolen by Plato from an older matriarchal tale. Use the following words: depucelate, cuntishly, sapphotizings, friggeresses.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Amy Crehore

Let's take a moment to consider one of my favorite paintings. In the collection of the artist. I have a few of Amy's prints above my piano just below Vera where I meditate on them while I work. In a quid pro quo, she at times listens to The Bed You Sleep In in between the blues and the hokum when she is working. It makes me happy to think that, possibly, I've left a small impression. Maybe a brush stroke that took a small turn to reflect a particularly lovely note on the viola, maybe a color that ended up a slightly darker hue as a static sad sawmill loop sounded.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Not for dancing

Lynne Rutter had been asking me to write something for her, and I knew she was very fond of the Shostakovich Jazz Suite waltzes, so I wrote her a short waltz. It's a slow listening waltz more than a dancing waltz, and maybe could be orchestrated as an appropriate dirge for my New Orleans funeral. No recording, but the score is on my works page, direct link here. I did play it at our annual party/salon last Saturday and was later forced to play it again, the second time being a bit more difficult due to the ongoing drinking of the Nerve Center Punch, but probably a little more heartfelt too in a sad crying-in-your-punch kind of way. I've thought we should do a salon more often given that we seem to have a lot of "creative, smart, and funny friends" as one of the thank-you notes said. But maybe the rarity is a plus. Dresher was there and seemed to enjoy himself and we went to see his Tyrant opera last night. Duykers as usual did a great job. He seems to be talking a number of us West Coast composer types into writing him solo operas and paying him for the opportunity.

Just after posting this, I received a DVD from M. Mara-Ann, who unknown to me secreted a video recording device into the party and captured my drunken stumbling through the piece, so there is actually more to love than I thought there was. Lynne told me that, when her friend Rich Kraft once did an imitation of me playing the piano, he started with a bold flourish, stopped and grunted and then started over, and this truth about me is what we see here.
Related Posts with Thumbnails