Friday, December 17, 2010

Spaghetti Western music for O sadness over rage O rage over sadness

Poetry Scores has embarked on a new score called O sadness over rage O rage over sadness. We are scoring a text by K. Curtis Lyle, though this is a little different for us.

Rather than starting with a completed poem, we started with the idea for a movie. The idea was pretty simple: we want to make a silent Western! So, I started casting about for a poem of the right length with themes that lend themselves to making a Western.

From the beginning, I was saying we should be thinking about making an Indian and Cowboy picture, with the script flipped and the emphasis on the Indian. This made me think of K. Curtis Lyle and all the poems he has written that deal with American Indian themes.

Curtis is an African American with Choctaw blood. He also hails from California and is something of a cowboy. He is something of a Black Indian Cowboy. I figured we could work something out with him.

And, indeed, I believe we have. Curtis sent me a batch of poems, and I made a selection and suggested a sequence. He raised some objections, so I re-ordered the sequence, which he approved of. The title of the composite poem is drawn from one of the constituent pieces, O sadness over rage O rage over sadness.

I put out a call for source recordings to consider for the score, and heard right back from my friend Andrea Van Cleef in northern Italy. "I got a bunch of old songs that could fit your needs!" he wrote. "You know, we invented Spaghetti Western."

Here are three. The titles listed here are the ones Andrea gave them. They will be retitled as they are intergrated into the score, using language from the poem. There are opportunities for sung text here too, with the attractive idea of writing melodies to Andrea's music for Curtis' poetry and then flipping it back to Andrea to sing in Italy. Who knows?


"Bring me the head of Christopher Walken"
(Andrea Van Cleef)
Andrea Van Cleef

"Three baby steps"
(Andrea Van Cleef)
Andrea Van Cleef

"Kernunnos' dream"
(Andrea Van Cleef)
Andrea Van Cleef


O sadness over rage O rage over sadness
By K. Curtis Lyle


The photo is of Andrea Van Cleef.

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