Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some poetry scores for Three Fried Chamber Players

So, as I was saying, a few of us here in St. Louis are putting together a new live band called Three Fried Chamber Players.

As the band is shaping up, half the material will come from Heidi Dean. Heidi writes amazing songs, but I think the words are her own; no Poetry Scores angle there, though she does sing on all of our records.

The other half of the setlist will come from me. You know I'll be singing some scored poems. Here are some I'm thinking of bringing to rehearsal Monday night.


"My son is a queen"

This is bona fide Poetry Scores material, from our score to Blind Cat Black, performed here by Three Fried Men (an earlier iteration of the chamber players). Poetry here by Ece Ayhan, translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat.

The last working version of Three Fried Men played this song I wrote from a tiny scrap of lyric I sculpted from the ponderous Charles Olson epic Maximus Poems. This is from a songwriting tape, when I was still doing the sculpting.

My setting of a very great poem by the martyred Salvadorean revolutionary Roque Dalton, recorded here by the band Eleanor Roosevelt at the now defunct Undertow Studios in downtown St. Louis.

My setting of an Orhan Veli poem, translated by Murat. Three Fried Men has recorded many scores to Orhan Veli poems. This one has Heidi singing with me and Tim McAvin playing guitar, perhaps fifteen years ago - amazing that we are all still/back together in the chamber players.

I have been playing this song for almost half my life. It's one of the first songs I wrote on my own on guitar. The lyric adapts two Lakota songs recorded, transcribed and translated by the great musicologist Frances Densmore. This is a version by Eleanor Roosevelt from our record Crumbling in the Rain.


The picture (by Roy Kasten) is of Richard Selman playing mbira with me on guitar at about the time most of these songs were being written. Unfortunately, we won't have Richard in the chamber players unless we can spring him from Birmingham. We will have Tim on drums, Josh Weinstein on bass, Adam Long on cello, Dave Melson on lead guitar and mandolin, and Heidi and me on guitar and vocals.

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