Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Josephine Miles scored by Heidi Dean and Robin Street-Morris

"Lampless Bastions" by Robin Street-Morris,
(after Josephine Miles), 2014.
Watercolor and pastel on 300lb incised hot press paper.
12" x 20" (30 x 51cm).

Poetry Scores' Spring 2014 project in our home city of St. Louis is devoted to "Ten Dreamers in a Motel."

This poem by Josephine Miles (1911-1985) was published in her 1955 book Prefabrications, a prescient registry of changes in the American built landscape and how that changed the way people construct their own reality (and dreams).

SOHA Studio + Gallery will host a one-night-only Poetry Scores art invitational based on "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" 6-10 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the gallery, 4915 Macklind Ave. Julie Malone and Kat Dunne of SOHA commissioned ten women artists to each make visual art in response to one of the poem's ten numbered sections.

Poetry Scores also has commissioned ten musical scores to the ten numbered parts of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel." That live score will be presented 9 p.m. Friday May, 23 at The Tap Room, 2121 Locust, with ten women reading the ten numbered parts of the poem in between the songs. This free show is followed by Ann Hirschfeld and Mark Buckheit (10 p.m.) and Dugout Canoe (11 p.m.).

Here is a demo of Heidi Dean's poetry score of the 6th numbered section of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel," paired with Robin Street-Morris' visual adaptation of the same passage of poetry.

"Lampless Bastions" by Robin Street-Morris,
(after Josephine Miles), 2014.
Watercolor and pastel on 300lb incised hot press paper.
12" x 20" (30 x 51cm).

Free mp3

"When we came back" (2:06)
(Josephine Miles, Heidi Dean)
Performed and recorded by Heidi Dean
(Open link in new tab to keep reading blog.)

Poetry (c) 1955 Josephine Miles
Music (c) 2014 Heidi Dean

This recording may be freely shared for non-commercial uses. For any other usage, contact Poetry Scores at brodog@hotmail.com and we will connect you with the composer and the poet's estate.

Heidi Dean,
grooving on new bifocals

Heidi Dean could be considered a founding member of Poetry Scores. She played a primary role in the Po Sco house band, Three Fried Men, before it evolved into an arts organization; has some important vocal pieces on the first poetry score, Crossing America by Leo Connellan; sings harmony on the subsequent scores Blind Cat Black, Go South for Animal Index and The Sydney Highrise Variations; performed on the premiere of Ann Hirschfeld's score of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Anne Sexton; and is now composing part of the score to Ten Dreamers in a Motel and performing in its premiere. Parenthood has sidetracked music in Heidi's life, for now, but perhaps she still has copies of her 2005 record with The Honeyshakers, which has more of her eloquent songwriting. "When we came back" is both her first poetry score and her first composition on piano.


Here is the part of the poem Heidi and Robin translated into their respective medium:

from "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" by Josephine Miles


When we came back all the underpasses were flooded,
Highway 40 blocked off
And six inches of water at the supermarket.
So it was necessary to go round by the byroads.

So it was that we came to our street from a different view,
Saw our neighborhood from aside and below,
Stacked up the hill our houses in their shrub,
Their windows empty as an evening sky.

And so it was we saw that they dwelt without us,
Endured merrily as bastions against our presence,
Persons of note and self in the rainy evening,
Lampless and starless.


"Ten Dreamers in a Motel" was published in Josephine Miles' 1955 book Prefabrications, which is included in her Collected Poems (University of Illinois Press, 1983).


Heidi Dean sings on Three Fried Men's prose score of Sam Blowsnake's autobiography

Heidi Dean sings on Three Fried Men's hieroglyphic score of creepy ancient Egyptian stuff

Photos: Heidi Dean overdubs on Nashville Highrise Variations



Josephine Miles scored by Joe Thebeau and Carrie M. Becker

Josephine Miles scored by Michael Martin and Julie Malone


Read @PoetryScores on Twitter.

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