Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Josephine Miles scored by Michael Martin and Julie Malone

"Do Not Despair" by Julie Malone
(after Josephine Miles)
Oil on Panel, 16" x 25.5

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 Michael Martin's poetry score of the 9th numbered section of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel," paired with Julie Malone's visual adaptation of the same passage of poetry.

"Do Not Despair" by Julie Malone
(after Josephine Miles)
Oil on Panel, 16" x 25.5

Free mp3

"Fast in darkness" (3:09)
(Josephine Miles, Michael Martin)
Performed and recorded by Michael Martin
(Open link in new window to keep reading blog.)

Poetry (c) 1955 Josephine Miles
Music (c) 2013 Michael Martin

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.

Michael Martin
Photo from Mark Buckheit
"Scenes from a MAMJam"

Michael Martin has been everywhere in St. Louis' independent rock music scene, though most people probably didn't notice him because his most public work has been behind the scenes, as a supporting musician and producer. He was a founding member of the Painkillers (arguably St. Louis' greatest post-punk band), played in and produced Bob's Reuter's band Kamikaze Cowboy (which made arguably St. Louis' best rock record, Down in America) and is now an integral member of Karate Bikini and The Deciders. He also is a busy and influential producer in his Broom Factory studio. This demo of "Fast in Darkness" is his first poetry score and instantly the best pop song Poetry Scores has published.


Here is the part of the poem Michael and Julie translated into their respective medium:

from "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" by Josephine Miles


I said to my iron class, I am desperate, desperate,
You must learn and you will not.
Each by each I looked to into the light and said
You are fast in darkness.

Each to each I said I am desperate, desperate.
Then one rose from his seat and sat beside me,
Touching my hand and saying, out of his daylight,
Do not despair.


"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).


Michael Martin in Karate Bikini Live on KDHX

Michael Martin in Kamikaze Cowboy Down in America

The Painkillers on Euclid Records



Josephine Miles scored by Joe Thebeau and Carrie M. Becker


Read @PoetryScores on Twitter.

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