Friday, March 6, 2009

"Employment and neckties and ruling themes"

This song is my sad, old man impersonation. I hope I don't live up to this one!

As I was saying the other day, Adam Long and I tried to drop a fragment of the poet reading onto a piece of improvised music to cover part of the poetry score to Les Murray's The Sydney Highrise Variations.

It didn't work - we needed a more slowly paced reading. So I gave it a shot. We agreed I wasn't the answer, but we did a rough mix with my reading in there, anyway.

In recording parlance, this is a "scratch vocal," left as a guide to what goes where, to the tone and feel (and the melody, in the case of sung text).

The search is still on for someone who sounds genuinely sadder and older and male than I do, though I start to think I could live with my voice on this track as long as we colored it, here and there, with additional voices and affects.

Les' biographer, Peter F. Alexander, writes well about this stretch of the poem in the essay he contributed for the liner notes to our score. He is talking about Sydney's new highrises:

To Murray they represent a monied class to which he does not belong, and to which he does not aspire. ‘Employment and neckties and ruling themes ascended/into the towers. But they never filled them’.
Free mp3

"Employment and neckties and ruling themes"
(Middle Sleep, Les Murray)
Middle Sleep, with Les Murray


Photo from Thom Fletcher's Flickr site.

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