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Friday, March 3, 2017

Some people suck -- but others write incredibly beautiful poetry and music


So I'm in a mood -- a bad one. We just got a letter from the Division of Taxation in RI that someone filed a tax return using our information, but they suspect it's not use because of our past pattern of filing. Of course I opened the letter on Friday evening and can't do a darned thing about this until they open on Monday at 8:30am.  Oh, and they noted that I should check with the IRS in case they also filed a federal tax return -- oh Goodie.

This coming week is insanely busy. Work is super busy so not much time there to handle any of this identity theft hassle there. It's concert week with Providence Singers where we have two extra rehearsals -- for a total of three weeknights of rehearsals -- for our two concerts on March 11 and 12, "Music For Chorus and Percussion".  Good thing the music we are singing for this concert is filled with some of the most gorgeous poetry, and while some of the music is a bit too modern for my taste, much of it is simply glorious. So, I shall concentrate on the better aspects of humanity as I practice and live with this music for the next week. I honestly feel sorry for those people who spend their lives engaged in fraud and crime and the search for easy money.

One of my favorite poems and pieces from this concert is Abide by Dan Forrest, composed just last year in 2016. The music is set to this poem by Adam York (1972-2012)
Abide
Forgive me if I forget
with the birdsong and the day’s
last glow folding into the hands
of the trees, forgive me the few
syllables of the autumn crickets,
the year’s last firefly winking
like a penny in the shoulder’s weeds,
if I forget the hour, if I forget
the day as the evening star
pours out its whiskey over the gravel
and asphalt I’ve walked
for years alone, if I startle
when you put your hand in mine,
if I wonder how long your light
has taken to reach me here.

Here's what the Providence Singers program notes say about this piece:

Poet Jake Adam York is known for verse that elegizes martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement. His poem “Abide” was inspired by Thelonius Monk’s recording of the classic funereal hymn “Abide With Me.” About his setting of York’s poem, Forrest has written:

“My setting hints at that hymn and seeks to evoke a sense of Americana on a warm late-summer evening. Inspired by York’s own direct manner of reading his own poetry, I chose to set most of his text in a rather homophonic and syllabic style, surrounding it with richer textures which envelop and embrace his own honest voice. ... York’s poem is worth pondering deeply on many levels, and I hope this musical setting enables repeated and ever-deeper reflection on the work of this gifted poet.



You should come to our concert to hear us, but if you can't wait that long, listen to this YouTube recording.