Sunday, July 19, 2009

"SIGNOR MAFFEI: (With a sinister smile)"

Though I mostly was looking for passages of Ulysses to score as rock songs when I read James Joyce's big fat headache of a novel, I couldn't resist setting aside a few pieces that promised experimental spoken word material.

There's not as much challenge, not as much creativity, involved in providing music under the reading of a text - I much prefer the thrill of treating someone's else's text as a lyric sheet, with the puzzles of inventing a melody and sculpting a song structure - but this bit from the Nighttown section of Ulysses is just begging for some carnival barkeresque sonic treatment.

SIGNOR MAFFEI: (With a sinister smile) Ladies and gentleman, my educated greyhound. It was I broke in the brucking broncho Ajax with my patent spiked saddle for carnivores. Lash under the belly with a knotted thong. Block tackle and a strangling pully will bring your lion to heel, no matter how fractious, even Leo ferox there, the Libyan maneater. A redhot crowbar and some liniment rubbing on the burning part produced Fritz of Amsterdam, the thinking hyena. (He glares) I possess the Indian sign. The glint of my eye does it with these breastsparklers. (With a bewitching smile) I now introduce Mademoiselle Ruby, the pride of the ring.

I am thinking of something along the lines of the spoken word material in The Black Rider, by Tom Waits.

As unique and amazing as Tom Waits is, in St. Louis we really don't need him for our projects (not that we could get him), and that is because we have Fred Fricton here.

We have put Fred to use on everything we have ever done here at Poetry Scores. A search of this blog for his name provides this huge list of posts, most with performances embedded. Without question, though, the most fitting precedent for the kind of piece this wants to be is "Orthodoxy - Orthodoxy" from the poetry score to Blind Cat Black.

Free mp3

"Othodoxy - Orthodoxy"
By Fred Friction and Pops Farrar
From Blind Cat Black

Poetry by Ece Ayhan
Translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat


Carnival barker Pearl Jam gig poster by Ward Sutton, whose brother I knew in a former life.


More from this series

"Sad music" (instrumental)
"Monkey puzzle" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"What kind of a present to give"
"Fires in the houses of poor people" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"Christfox in leather trews" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"All future plunges to the past" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"She was humming" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"Silly billies:" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"Happy Happy" (Fuller, Joyce, King)
"A sugarsticky girl" (Joyce, King, A Better Guitar Player Than Me)
"Everybody eating everyone else" (Joyce, King, You)
"Blood not mine" (Joyce, King, Your Name Here)
"Sell your soul for that" (Joyce, King, Your Name Here)
"Over the motley slush" (Joyce, King, Whoever Helps Me)
"My childhood bends" (Joyce, King)"
"Don't you play the giddy ox with me!" (Joyce, King)

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