Sunday, February 26, 2006

The power of music blogs - and poetry

Path finder - One of my regular ports of call is An Overgrown Path. If you want to see why, click here. One recent Overgrown Path post really caught my eye: Eric Whitacre outsells Mozart Lots of stuff about Mr Whitacre. Apparently, he is quite famous. I had never heard of him. Which says something about me, I suppose. Anyway, it's a good read. Toward the end of Overgrown Path's post, there is a link to an mp3 download. So, I downloaded. And listened. Nice. Go down the path some more? The CD is called Cloudburst. It's on the UK's Hyperion label.Hyperion: Cloudburst Fourteen poems set to music.Choral works. Choral, works.What works opens with a poem by E. E. Cummings: Posted on Mister Bijou from South China:

Serendipity, Connections and Trends - Visiting On An Overgrown Path, I was introduced to contemporary classical music composer Eric Whitacre. (Just a few days ago I ‘discovered’ classical violinist Christian Tetzlaff, and classical music critic Jeremy Eichler — classical is on the brain.) Pliable mentions that Whitacre graduated from the Juilliard School of Music (as did Luther Henderson, but back then it was called the Insitute of Musical Art). The clip I heard online from Whitacre’s Hyperion recording, Cloudburst is beautiful and the choral works listed piqued my curiosity and lead me to wonder if a new trend is afoot. I haven’t researched this yet, but I suspect that it is not a new trend at all, rather one that is newly come into focus on my personal radar screen and/or one that comes and goes over time. The trend (if it is that) to which I refer is the blending and cross-pollenation of poetry and music: Posted on DevraDoWrite from Los Angeles:

My Eric Whitacre article generated an amazing response. I was delighted, and really humbled, to introduce so many people to a new composer. It meant that this morning I was genuinely able to say i thank You God for this most amazing day.
There is not enough poetry On An Overgrown Path, so here is the poem by e e cummings' (photo below, and I leave it to others decide whether it is upper or lower case) which is set by Eric Whitacre on Cloudburst's first track:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Please also explore these other contemporary composers featured On An Overgrown Path * Jane O'Leary * Vanessa Lann * Odaline de la Martinez * Judith Weir * Antony Pitts * Douglas Weiland * James Wood *
And return here soon for another musical discovery - About me in the right-hand side-bar gives a clue.

Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If you enjoyed this post take On An Overgrown Path to
Eric Whitacre outsells Mozart

2 comments:

Pliable said...

For another good reason to say i thank You God for this most amazing day 'listen again' to today's BBC Radio 3 Private Passions where Michael Berkeley's guest is Gloucestershire Chief Constable Timothy Brain, whose musical choices take in Renaissance and baroque composers as well as works by Finzi, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Not only is the musical wonderful, but this is a rare moment of humanity in a sea of media madness.

But hurry the programme is only available on demand until March 4th.

Pliable said...

When I transcribed the e e cummings poem I 'corrected' some of the poets idioysncratic spelling and punctuation.

This was a conscious decision as I thought those unfamiliar with his poetry may be put off by the 'errors'. One of the reasons for the corrections was the original looked distressingly like the results sometimes obtained by cutting and pasting text into my blogging software!

But Mister Bijou
quite rightly takes me gently, and amicably, to task, writing:

Cummuning was somewhat unorthodox as concerns the
placement of punctuation. Upper and lowercase usage, too. I imagine it was a nightmare for publishers.

Which is why I went and consulted my own Grove Press edition. The published edition has no gaps between the words and the several colons and semi-colons that feature in the poem. Presumably, the Grove Press edition presents the poem as it should be.

Looking online for a copy of the poem in question, copies almost always present a 'corrected' version. I see that you version does too.

Perhaps you might considering uncorrecting so as to present it as Cummings intended?


In retrospect I think I was probably wrong to correct the text. I haven't yet 'uncorrected' it, and would be interested in any other views on this.

And there is huge scope for trying to get back to the original text on Allen Ginsberg's America which I've just uploaded.