22 de dic. de 2007


I have a strong urge to blog through Bach's unaccompanied cello suites... Maybe I will after returning from California vacation... Just write something brief for each of the six sections of the six suites. 36 posts as a musico-poetic sestina of sorts. I won't let my lack of musical knowledge stop me. A little dancing about architecture.

16 comentarios:

Maryrose Larkin dijo...

hmmm. Interesting. If you do it I'll try to write 36 poems for each with you. Let me know

Jonathan dijo...

I was going to do it in prose. But it would be wonderful to have you along for the ride too...

Maryrose Larkin dijo...

Lets do it. When do you get back? I'll probably freewrite, on my blog and use it as source text for a 36 piece poem

Jonathan dijo...

I'll start this particular project on 1/1/08.

Jacob Russell dijo...

I don't know if you've read Richard Power's Goldbug Variations: Bach elucidating the discovery of the double helix. If there's anyone who can write about music more authoritivly, more convincingly, than Powers, I've not had the pleasure of finding him.

Bach. Somewhere around the age of 12, listening to an LP (at that time, a new thing) on a "hi-fi" system built by hand by an uncle, a lover of music with a gift for electronics... something happened. I can't tell you exactly what--been more than fifty years, but at some point in in the playing of the Passion According to Saint Mathew, I had to leave the house--to find refuge where I knew I would be alone. And when I felt safe, I sat down and wept... for a long long time. Overwhelmed with a sense that I was somehow, "different," that, essentially, I didn't belong to the ordinary world, but to this... whatever "this" was, whatever it was I heard when I listened to Bach... that this was my place, my world apart from the world.

I love music without borders. An indy performance at a bar, the wooden percussion melodies of Ituri Forest dwellers, classic rock...and of course... jazz in its manifold manifestations. But Bach holds a place supreme. I couldn't possibly describe or explain... and am nowhere close to understanding the what or why of it. Pure "transport" ... as Emily D. used the word. Nothing else comes close.

Powers comes damn close to elucidating what goes into that music, what happens when I listen to it.
I wish I could dissolve into that music... to happily vanish into its everlasting internal conversation.

I look forward to your response to the cello sonatas.

Jonathan dijo...

I haven't read that. I won't either--until after I do this particular project.

gary barwin dijo...

The Bach solo cello suites have been very important to me. Around the age you describe listening to the St. John, I was a young cellist learning to play some of them. I have several recordings which I return to often. From the delicacy and deep pathos of the Casals, to the more bold versions of the Starker, Fournier or the Rostropovich.

Do you know the music garden in Toronto that is based on one of the solo cello suites? The proportions and selected fauna represent pieces in the suite. Yo Yo Ma discusses the plan for it in his suite of documentaries about the suites and related projects. I've walked or attended performances in the garden by the lake. It is a special -- if self-consciously so -- place.

Your writing project sounds fantastic.

Best,

Gary

Judy dijo...

Based on listening or reading?

I look forward to what each of you & Maryrose come up with.

Maryrose Larkin dijo...

I'll start 1/01/08 as well, I'll post the free writing on my blog. It will be writing through listening, not reading to me, as I can barely read music. My free writing is pretty incoherent though meaning what will be most interesting to me is what comes after, with the free writing as a source text.

Thanks for this idea, and I hope you don't mind I jumped on your cello wagon.

Maryrose

Jonathan dijo...

I'll be looking at the scores a bit but mostly just listiening to the Yo Yo Ma recordings.

Jacob Russell dijo...

Lucky man...

I wish I could afford a decent music system.

I miss it to the point of waking up in the middle of the night in sweat...

Jonathan dijo...

I don't even have a decent stereo. I'm just listening to an MP3 on my laptop with a pair of inexpensive headphones...

John dijo...

One movement a day or one suite a day?

Sounds like a stimulating project!

Joseph Duemer dijo...

When I was in my twenties I remember waking up to music on my clock radio. Half asleep, I was thinking, "What kind of jazz is this?" It was the second Bach cello suite.

I'm thinking of a way to play along in this game.

Jonathan dijo...

I don't have a fixed number of movements per day. I'll just see how long it takes me.

Maryrose Larkin dijo...

I'm going to do one movement a day. So 36 days for me. Then probably 3/6 months down the road, when the free writing has become somewhat other (that is I can't remember writing it each word), I'll re-edit and use each section as a source text for a poem.