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
 

 

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