Clayton Eshleman: From an Interview by Irakli Qolbaia, the first & last questions - [What follows are two sections from a longer interview conducted by the Georgian poet and translator Irakli Qolbaia, in which Eshleman takes on two key ...
Thursday, December 30, 2010
From car jam to lost rock bands to Black Indian Cowboy poem
Good old 2010, a year that is justly maligned by so many, was really good for me. One of the good things that happened was my car stereo CD player gave out again. At approximately the same time, my car stereo cassette player kicked back in again, and I was suddenly thrown back upon the resources of my cassette collection.
This got me back into the groove of my college rock band cassette collection, the early recordings of the campus bands at Wash. U. in the later 1980s that I looked up to (really, idolized). I expect for this getting back into the groove with my campus band idols experience to be Bootblogged in extensive detail once I come up with the right way to go from old cassette to new media with a rich sound.
For now I have snagged very rough digital transfers of a few instrumental nuggets. The "digital transfer" process was homely indeed. I blasted the cassette from either my car stereo in the car, or my jambox in the bathroom, and recorded the "room" sound with a handheld reporter's gizmo that converts readily to a mono WAV sound file.
I grabbed rough snapshots of these three tracks because I thought they might find a new home in our score to the poem O sadness over rage O rage over sadness by K. Curtis Lyle. We have been asking after and looking for music in the key of Black Indian Cowboy Silent Western, multiply construed.
The only and one K. Curtis Lyle has been scoring his own poetry pretty much exactly as long as I have been alive on Earth, so by inviting him to coproduce the score I knew I was contending with a mature and strong point of view for how to do such things. I have my work cut out for me, but I'll enjoy trying to convince Curtis that some of the lost college rock bands of my youth has a home in his poetry.
"I stopped and looked into your eyes" *
(Joe Z. Armin)
"He walked all the way from Montana" *
Butt of Jokes
"Across phantom prairie" *
Butt of Jokes
* Just for fun, I have given these songs provisional new titles taken verbatim from Curtis' poem. That is one of the ways to score a line of poem in a score, to bestow it as a title onto an instrumental.
While I think these make apt titles, who knows how, where or if these pieces will actually find their way into the completed score. They are all also candidates for sung text, for attaching some words from the poem as a lyric to sing.
Interestingly, I am in touch with the principal musicians from The Skinnies and Butt of Jokes (they even overlap on one guy, my cowriter and coproducer Matt Fuller). There is the chance I could write melodies to any of these and then get the original songwriter to record the new vocal over his old track!
Drawing of the dashboard of my car by Leyla Fern King and me.
OTHERS IN THIS SERIES
Spaghetti Western music for O sadness over rage O rage over sadness