my piano

September 1, 2018

my first love was a piano, whom I met when I was five. currently, we are separated against our wills. except, my piano doesn’t have a will. it just sinks beneath poor choices, patiently abandoned in a town I haven’t lived in for two years –

Lift

August 4, 2018

To stand with mind akimbo where the wind riffles the ridge. Slow, slow jazz: it must begin before the instrument with bones dreaming themselves hollow and the dusk rising in them like a sloth ascending. Moon, night after night rehearsing shades of pause and spill, sifting into reed beds, silvering the fine hairs on your arms, making rhythm out of light and nothing, making months. What have I ever made of life or it of me, all I ever asked for was to be remembered constantly by everything I ever touched.

Don Mckay
From: Lift
Camber: Selected Poems (McClelland & Stewart Ltd, 2004)

Unbelievable

July 19, 2018

Elżbieta Niezgoda

The harp is played by Welsh fairies to an extent unknown in those parts of the world where the harp is less popular among the people. When any instrument is distinctly heard in fairy cymmoedd it is usually the harp. Sometimes it is a fiddle, but then on close examination it will be discovered that it is a captured mortal who is playing it; the Tylwyth Teg prefer the harp. They play the bugle on specially grand occasions, and there is a case or two on record where the drone of the bagpipes was heard; but it is not doubted that the player was some stray fairy from Scotland or elsewhere over the border. On the top of Craig-y-Ddinas thousands of white fairies dance to the music of many harps. In the dingle called Cwm Pergwm, in the Vale of Neath, the Tylwyth Teg make music behind the waterfall, and when they go off over the mountains the sounds of their harps are heard dying away as they recede.

Wirt Sikes

British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions

wind-chime aria

May 7, 2018

how he held my hands & told me
that Mozart’s father taught him to play
by breaking his fingers each time a note fell wrong

i still find myself searching
for ghosts in the melody

torrin a greathouse

Edwige Fouvry - Et Paysage De Nuit

I’ve never willingly written a word without listening to music of some sort. Right now I’m listening to Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano. When pushed by deadlines I’ve sometimes been obliged to work in silence, on a train or plane or in a cafe. (A Walkman I don’t like, since its penetrating sound, piped directly into the cranial bones, is too aggressive and inescapable: booming aural earmuffs.)

Virgil Thomson, recognized my condition right away. There are two kinds of writers, he said. Those who demand absolute silence and those, like you, who need to hear music, the better to concentrate.

Perhaps he put his finger on the underlying psychological process, but I have never felt I was blocking out music the better to focus my thoughts. Admittedly I sometimes recognize that at a certain moment during the last 10 minutes I must have stopped paying attention to the music filling the room, but more often than not I experience music as a landscape unscrolling just outside the window whenever I look up, or as a human drama unfolding across the courtyard when I peek out, or as a separate but beloved presence, an intimate friend sitting in a matching chair, thinking and feeling. Music for me is a companion during the lonely (and why not admit it? the boring) hours of writing.

Music is also in stark contrast to writing. Music is already perfect, sure-footed, whereas I’m struggling to remember a word, frame a description, invent an action. If for me music is the secret sharer, it is a friend who has no needs and encourages me to trust that beauty can be achieved in this life, at least theoretically.

Music is always living out its own vivid, highly marked adventure, which is continuous and uninterrupted. It exists as a superior way of transcribing emotions, or rather of notating shifting balances, repeating motifs, accumulating tensions, deferred resolutions and elaborated variations. As the composer Roger Sessions once put it, music communicates in a marvellously vivid and exact way the dynamics and the abstract qualities of emotion, but any specific emotional content must be supplied from without, by the listening writer in this case.

Edmund White
Before a Rendezvous With the Muse, First Select the Music
New York Times, 18th June 2001

on your knees

April 17, 2018

She stands before you naked you can see it, you can taste it, and she comes to you light as the breeze. Now you can drink it or you can nurse it, it don’t matter how you worship as long as you’re down on your knees.

Leonard Cohen
Light As The Breeze

Question

December 30, 2017

Musical Interlude

October 25, 2017