Sunday, June 20, 2010

walking along the Embarcadero past pier 7 and the flowers

I told myself that I would wait to compose the new opera until we had done something with the words theatrically, that is in a theatrical setting, with the performers and the director, to get a sense of the performance and the direction that those words implied. This I have explained before here, a concept whereby the timings and the delivery of the words, usually fixed by the composer ab nihilo, would instead be approached more collaboratively, and that I would take the results of that process and use it to guide my setting of the words, a fixing in musical form. However, I didn't know what to do with my nervous musical energy, that fever that comes over the artist when the artist has something bubbling up, wanting to burst forth in a spray of brains and blood and to spill itself over the page or, in this brave new world, the computer keyboard. 

So I decided to let it out slowly, ever so slowly, and then to allow it to grow in a direction all its own. The result is the piece to the right, a piece for two pianos, a huge blocky dense work of frenetic activity, repetition, some rhythmic intensity. At the moment, I enjoy it, and so I present it here, in a synthetic form, a simulacrum, but one which I have molded carefully, hand carved out, a memory bittersweet of love lived and love lost, for your pleasure, an mp3 here, and a score here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wedded bliss

My wife, The Empress™, published a blog entry recently on her marriage to me and since I have felt a lack of care in not duplicating the effort. The wedding was a ceremony fraught with delight, featuring food and drink and promises and tears, plus performances by many of our friends. The beginning, a topless performance by Tara Jepson and Beth Lisick dressed in boy shorts, prompted my sister-in-law to consider the question: If it begins with a topless lesbian performance, where will it end? This was followed by a rendition of The Rainbow Connection by my now nephew Griffin Runnels, such a tune! and such a showman!  Duncan Wold and his shit-show colleague Roy Hobbs roasted me and Lynne, asking how many midlife crises it takes to write an opera and reminding the bride of her drug-soaked past, following it up with a number of drug-referencing songs. My boy! Igor Finger and Woody Woodman, interpreting Daniel Pinkwater's Devil in the Drain, were preceded by Wendy Marlatt's tribal movements and Sierra and Bronwyn & Ember's dance in stretch metallic latex bags. The whole shebang finishing with Pete von Petrin's remixing of the whole event at maximum volume, distorted and enhanced, a lovely noisy blessing. So many joys, interspersed with all-too-brief moments with so many of our dearest friends.

Both of us had been married before, so inevitably comparisons were made between our first weddings and this one. Lynne's was famous for achieving the highest bar private tab ever seen at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Mine featured Carl Ruggle's Exaltation, which we taught to the assembled masses, as well as a short and pretty tune by me entitled Marriage, played by my bandmates Bob Adams and Richard Crawford. I felt I had to do at least as much this time, so I precessed to the stage (above) to the finale of Stravinsky's Firebird, and I wrote the words and music to a tune, recorded here live during the ceremony, with laugh track, performed by Rachel Condry and Laura Bohn.

We find a soft place
of each other
it's just over there
so pretty
when you find it
a careful softness
just there  
each falls into
or, one becomes the other
the swapping of cares 
of life 
of happiness
on which each builds their life

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mordake CD released

The Mordake CD is released, available in so many places large and small, hot and cold and lukewarm, in corporeal form and forme noncorporeable. Amazon, iTunes, Arkivmusic, emusic, 24-7 Entertainment 7Digital Amazon MP3 Bell Mobility Full Track eMusic Gracenote Guvera Hot Topic / Shockhound iSound iTunes Music Store Lala Limewire A La Carte Limewire Subscription LiveWire / Groove Mobile MediaNet Digital mTraks MySpace Music Napster Omnifone Rhapsody SecuryCast Sprint Starzik Thumbplay Full Track Verizon Wireless Zune etc. 

If you love me, you will buy it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The 10 days

And in this turn of the light from day to day, the days and the days following one to another, and in the darkness settling over us, we see a light. Into our rooms comes a soft suffusion of light, and we are happy, unseasonably happy, in the face of this, our certain death. We relax: a warming oil pouring in through that opening, that soft part of our skull, and we are an infant again, blissful and unaware, that soft part of our skull not yet complete, the vessels that are our bodies filled with a warming oil, these vessels that will pass away - no - shattering, and what we are, spilling out, cascading over the shards. A moment, this moment, of ecstasy, a loss of identity into greater whole, of the universe, of the void, an affirmation of life in the face of our death.

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