Saturday, September 22, 2012

Playlist for September 21, 2012

1. Is my soul asleep?
by Antonio Machado

 Is my soul asleep?

Have those beehives that work

in the night stopped? And the water-

wheel of thought, is it

going around now, cups

empty, carrying only shadows?

 

No, my soul is not asleep.

It is awake, wide awake.

It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,

its eyes wide open

far-off things, and listens

at the shores of the great silence.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata #3 in C Major for unaccompanied violin by J.S. Bach

 
 
2. The Meeting Missed
by Rabindranath Tagore (From "Gitanjali")

If I am not to meet you again in this life then I want to feel that I have missed the meeting–

Don’t let me forget, let me feel the pain of it in my dreams and while awake.

As the time passes in the black dust of the body, and I get fat with money, I want to feel that I have gotten nothing out of it all –

Don’t let me forget, I want to feel the slivers of pain in my dreams and while awake.

When I walk up the steps, exhausted and tense after a long trip, or when I climb into some lonely bed, I want to feel that the long trip is still ahead of me –

Don’t let me forget, I want to feel the pain in my legs both while asleep and while awake.

When my house is all cleaned, and drinks are set here and there, and I hear people laughing, I want to feel that I haven’t invited you to my house –

Don’t let me forget, I want to feel the pain of that grief both while asleep and while awake.

 REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Fratres for Solo Violin, Strings and Percussion by Arvo Part
 
3. The Instruments
by Rumi
Who is the luckiest in this whole orchestra? The reed.
Its mouth touches your lips to learn music.
All reeds, sugarcane especially, think only
of this chance. They sway in the canebrakes,
free in the many ways they dance.

Without you the instruments would die.
One sits close beside you. Another takes a long kiss.
The tambourine begs, Touch my skin so I can be myself.
Let me feel you enter each limb bone by bone,
that what died last night can be whole today.

Why live some soberer way and feel you ebbing out?
I won't do it.
Either give me enough wine or leave me alone,
now that I know how it is
to be with you in a constant conversation.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sonata for Oboe and Piano (3rd movement) by Francis Poulenc
(NOTE:movement 3 begins at 9:00 into the video)
 
 
4. The Holy Longing
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
Because the massman will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
What longs to be burned to death.
In the calm water of love nights,
Where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
A strange feeling comes over you
When you see the silent candle burning.
Now you are no longer caught
In the obsession with darkness,
And a desire for higher lovemaking
Sweeps you forward.
Distance does not make you falter
Now, arriving in magic, flying
And finally insane for the light,
You are the butterfly, and you are gone.
And so long as you haven't experienced this:
To die, and so to grow,
You are only a troubled guest
On the dark earth.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Geistliches Lied, Op. 30 by Johannes Brahms
 
5. Sssh the sea says
by Rolf Jacobsen
Sssh the small waves at the shore say, sssh
Not so violent, not
So haughty, not
So remarkable.
Sssh say the tips of the waves
Crowding around the headland’s
Surf. Sssh
They say to people
This is our earth,
Our eternity.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Une Barque sur l'Ocean by Maurice Ravel
 
 
 
 
 
 




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Playlist for September 14, 2012

1. My Voice
by Rafael Campo

 
To cure myself of wanting Cuban songs,
I wrote a Cuban song about the need
For people to suppress their fantasies,
Especially unhealthy ones. The song
Began by making reference to the sea,
Because the sea is like a need so great
And deep it never can be swallowed. Then
The song explores some common myths
But the Cuban people and their folklore:
The story of a little Carib boy
Mistakenly abandoned to the sea;
The legend of a bird who wanted song
So desperately he gave up flight; a queen
Whose strength was greater than a rival king’s.
The song goes on about morality,
And then there is a line about the sea,
How deep it is, how many creatures need
Its nourishment, how beautiful it is
To need. The song is ending now, because
I cannot bear to hear it any longer.
I call this song of needful love my voice.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Concierto Elegiaco (Finale) by Leo Brouwer
 
 
2. The World As It Is
by Carolyn Miller
 
No ladders, no descending angels, no voice
out of the whirlwind, no rending
of the veil, or chariot in the sky—only
water rising and falling in breathing springs
and seeping up through limestone, aquifers filling
and flowing over, russet stands of prairie grass
and dark pupils of black-eyed Susans. Only
the fixed and wandering stars: Orion rising sideways,
Jupiter traversing the southwest like a great firefly,
Venus trembling and faceted in the west—and the moon,
appearing suddenly over your shoulder, brimming
and ovoid, ripe with light, lifting slowly, deliberately,
wobbling slightly, while far below, the faithful sea
rises up and follows.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: La Mer (Part III) by Claude Debussy
 
 
 
3. Ondine
by Aloysius Bertrand
 
 
I thought I heard a vague harmony enchant my slumber and, near me, radiating, a identical murmur like the interrupted songs of a sad and tender voice.
– C. Brugnot (The Two Spirits)

“Listen! Listen! Do you know what you hear?
It is I, Ondine, spirit of the water,
who brushes these drops,
The water on the resonant panes of your windows,
lit by the gloomy rays of the moon.
And here, in a gown of watered silk,
gazing from my chateau terrace,
I contemplate the beautiful starry night
and the restless sleeping lake.

“The waves are my sisters, swimming the paths
which wander towards my palace…
The walls are at the bottom of the lake,
in a fluid structure of earth and fire and air.

“Listen! Listen! Do you know what you hear?
My father strikes the water with an alder branch,
My sisters caress the grass with arms of white foam,
lift the water lilies, move the rushes,
and tease the bearded willow which casts its line,
baited with leaves, into the darting water.”

When she had breathed her song, she begged me –
begged me – to put her ring on my finger;
to be her husband and sink with her down –
down to her drowned palace
and be king of all the lakes.
I told her I loved a mortal woman.
Abashed and vexed, she dissolved into tears and laughter;
vanished in a scatter of rain –
white streams across the dark night
of my window.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Ondine (from Gaspard de la nuit) by Maurice Ravel
 
 

4. Ode
by Arthur O'Shaughnessy

WE are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: The Music Makers, by Edward Elgar

 
 
 
5. Natural Music
by Robinson Jeffers
 
The old voice of the ocean, the bird-chatter of little rivers,
(Winter has given them gold for silver
To stain their water and bladed green for brown to line their banks)
>From different throats intone one language.
So I believe if we were strong enough to listen without
Divisions of desire and terror
To the storm of the sick nations, the rage of the hunger smitten cities,
Those voices also would be found
Clean as a child's; or like some girl's breathing who dances alone
By the ocean-shore, dreaming of lovers.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sea Interlude # 3 ("Moonlight") by Benjamin Britten
 

 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Playlist for September 9, 2016

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST OF THIS PROGRAM



I. To the Light of September by W.S. Merwin

When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground

but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later

you
who fly with them

you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night

perfect in the dew

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Cello Concerto (1st movement) by Alan Hovhaness



II. September Midnight by Sara Teasdale


Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heavy.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Harpsichord Concerto in A, (2nd movement) by J.S. Bach



III. A lane of Yellow led the eye 
by Emily Dickinson

A lane of Yellow led the eye
Unto a Purple Wood
Surpasses solitude
Whose soft inhabitants to be
Or flower presume to show
If Bird the silence contradict
Impossible to know -
In that low summer of the West
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Cantilena from Sonata for Flute and Piano by Francis Poulenc
 
 



IV. Strange Violet Behind Trees by Christine Klocek-Lom


after Wolf Kahn

The house hides in dusk’s spangled purples.
It’s hard to see such colors, capricious
tones barely there once night has almost
sucked the light from the forest.
And silhouetted trees rear up
as I walk, interrupt the horizon,
their dry leaves muttering imprecations
in the magenta gleam of twilight.

You have gone and I must be careful:
the path has faded to mere shadow
and I can no longer understand
the exuberance of a leaf twisting
in the breeze. How does autumn tangle
everything so elegantly, as when crimson
replaces the decorous sheen of green?
Such willful ambiguity. I walk steadily.
The soft retreat of chlorophyll asks useless
questions. The mother tree sleeps
and misses the violet whoop of fall,
the overlapping dive of it all.

By now night has stolen
twilight’s indescribable glow.
Our house has quietly slid
into an atmospheric blur.
There is nothing more to see.
My darling, the violet has disappeared
and I’m not yet home but I can still feel
the brittle slump of frost behind the trees.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Introit, Op.6 for Small Orchestra and Violin by Gerald Finzi



V. Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare


   That time of year thou mayst in me behold 

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, 
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. 
In me thou seest the twilight of such day 
As after sunset fadeth in the west, 
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. 
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire 
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, 
As the death-bed whereon it must expire 
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. 
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Now, o now I needs must part by John Dowland (arr. by Percy Grainger)