12 dic. 2006

I am getting more and more into the poetry of Olvido García Valdés. There are three stages in reading. (1) It's interesting but I don't really get it. (2) It just keeps getting better and better. (3) Discrimination. Some poems are more interesting than others; some flaws might emerge; both positive and negative aspects become sharply delineated.

I'm at stage 2 now with her. What I like most is the way my thoughts adopt themselves to the meditative rhythm of reading. It takes you to another place.


Julia learned to play "St. Thomas" along with Sonny Rollins. (Just the melody for now, not the entire solo!) It's perfect for an eleven-year old because it is both simple and hip. You have to come in on the and of one so it's a little tricky. The trumpet plays an octave above the tenor sax. Then she learned "Moritat" from the same album (Saxophone Colossus.) (The tune is "Mack the Knife" but with an alternate title.) The same thing: simple and melodic, but extraordinarily hip, to get that phrasing right. It would have been a little easier if we'd had written music, but it's good ear-training to learn it from the recording. Plus it's fun to play along. I can find the notes on the piano and transpose to tell her what the notes are supposed to be. Her ear is better than mine, but notes are easier to find on the piano because you can "see them" in relation to one another.

4 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

The German title of "Mack the Knife" is "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer." A "Moritat" is a broadside ballad, especially one about a murder (I have also heard the expression "murder ballad" in English).

Jonathan dijo...

I knew that.

Well, not really. Thanks for the information.

Anónimo dijo...

I hope my info did not rub you the wrong way!

Jonathan dijo...

Not at all! I've always wondered why Rollins didn't just call it "Mack the Knife" and now I know.