Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Bad (And Poem of the Month)

Oh POD deemed fit to comment recently: "I seem to recall you writing this blog about goals. I better go back and see if slacking off blogging is one of those goals."

It's so true. Except I had a good excuse--it's the end of the season and I had a lot of singing and catching up to do. AND I had to suddenly produce a lot of documentation in the broken hand lawsuit. I am just so tired.

But I have to say also that I am having a terrible time with a couple of my goals, namely, Goal 74 - Listen to a CD every week and Goal 82 - eat at dining table at least once a week. Though we did have dinner at the table last week (see above), I made pepper chicken with crushed red pepper instead of green chilies because I didn't have any chilies and it was WAY TOO HOT. So it wasn't a big success.

I've been thinking if I buy flowers for the table, that will make us want to eat at the table so we can enjoy the flowers. I just have to come up with some better menus.

But the CD thing: I just can't hack it. I have to come up with a replacement goal. I DON'T WANT to have to listen to a CD every week. You have no idea how hard it is. I just want my ears to be left alone... Please don't judge me too harshly. I have an audio-intensive career.

As compensation I'm posting a link to an audio clip of a concert I just did. It's the hardest tonal work ever written for choir. This piece is toward the end of a larger piece, about 25 minutes long, and we were exhausted by the time we got to this last one, so the blend is a little off. You'll hear that it's for two competing choirs. Mine is the first one you hear (in stereo, it's the one to the left). Sometimes we sing together, but mostly it's a dialog. (The high E at the end: that's mostly me.) (BTW each choir has only 8 singers in it--2 on a part. I tend to dominate the sound of my 2 voice section, but that's because I'm really tired, and it's hard to blend in when you're tired.)

The text is a poem by Paul Eluard written during World War II. The program notes say it was "smuggled to [the composer Francis Poulenc] under pseudonyms; Eluard stayed underground to avoid imprisonment for his support of the French resistance. Likewise, the musical score had to be smuggled out of France for the first performance, which took place in London, on March 25, 1945. Thus, the themes of death, war, oppression and liberty that fill the pages of the work have a deeply personal resonance, for both Eluard and Poulenc, as well as for all of Nazi- occupied France."

So not only is this my guilty compensation, it's the Poem of the Month (I especially like the part about the dog):

[PS It looks like a really long song, but the words go by FAST.]

VIII. Liberté [Liberty]

On my school notebooks
On my desk, on the trees
On the sand, on the snow
I write your name

On all the read pages
On all the empty pages
Stone, blood, paper or ash
I write your name

On the golden images
On the weapons of warriors
On the crown of kings
I write your name

On the jungle and the desert
On the nests, on the broom
On the echo of my childhood
I write your name

On the wonders of nights
On the white bread of days
On the seasons betrothed
I write your name

On all my blue rags
On the sun-molded pond
On the moon-enlivened lake
I write your name

On the fields, on the horizon
On the wings of birds
And on the mill of shadows
I write your name

On every burst of dawn
On the sea, on the boats
On the insane mountain
I write your name

On the foam of clouds
On the sweat of the storm
On the rain, thick and insipid
I write your name

On the shimmering shapes
On the colorful bells
On the physical truth
I write your name

On the alert pathways
On the wide-spread roads
On the overflowing places
I write your name

On the lamp that is lighted
On the lamp that is dimmed
On my reunited houses
I write your name

On the fruit cut in two
Of the mirror and of my room
On my bed, an empty shell
I write your name

On my dog, young and greedy
On his pricked-up ears
On his clumsy paw
I write your name

On the springboard of my door
On the familiar objects
On the wave of blessed fire
I write your name

On all harmonious flesh
On the face of my friends
On every out-stretched hand
I write your name

On the window-pane of surprises
On the careful lips
Well-above silence
I write your name

On my destroyed shelter
On my collapsed beacon
On the walls of my weariness
I write your name

On absence without want
On naked solitude
On the steps of death
I write your name

On regained health
On vanished risk
On hope free from memory
I write your name

And by the power of one word
I begin my life again
I am born to know you
To call you by name: Liberty!

Click to hear it (you might want to open another tab and click it so you can go back to the words):

The New York Virtuoso Singers sing "Figure Humaine" by Francis Poulenc (Movement 8)


POD said...

Don't buy flowers to force yourself to sit there. That would be another goal you'd have to add to your list of goals you feel overwhelmed about meeting.

How about turning on the radio once per week? Or one song per week? Or sing a song per week. You already do that. Goal met!

I'm going to listen to the song.
I write your name.

the Bag Lady said...

OMG!! That was fabulous! And sounded so difficult to sing.....

And I agree with POD - you don't really need any more goals, especially if you are struggling with the ones you already have.

Here's my suggestion for a change to your goal of listening to a CD - how about singing, once a week, something totally out of your chosen genre? Pick a Patsy Cline song or something, and learn it. Or something from the 1940's.... you get my drift. It's still music, but totally different from what you are accustomed to.

Just a suggestion.

Melissa said...

That, Bag Lady, is very interesting suggestion!

Sbanfnyc said...

OK. I'm not helping here but a goal is a goal. Not an end point. I think you are the Bee's Knees anyway so just go with the flow. You have been helping me with my blog and stuff too.

Ready for your first Grand Son? Let's play.

Sbanfnyc said...

OK. I'm not helping here but a goal is a goal. Not an end point. I think you are the Bee's Knees anyway so just go with the flow. You have been helping me with my blog and stuff too.

Ready for your first Grand Son? Let's play.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Sorry, I've been so far behind on EVERYTHING that I haven't been stopping by my favorite blogs nearly often enough.

What a beautiful recording! I thought it was fabulous!

Wow is all I can say. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Sincerely yours