Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Riddling" by Mary Dalton and Eric Rose


"All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #31, Avondale, Conception Bay"
By Scott Walden (2006)
Artist retains rights


Like I was saying, Poetry Scores has a live premiere of a new poetry score on Saturday, May 30 at the Schlafly Tap Room in downtown St. Louis.

We scored "All the Clubs from Hollyrood to Brigus," a twelve-poem sequence of "fictions, ruminations and riddles," according to its subtitle, about the taverns and social clubs that line a 16-mile stretch of one of the oldest highways in Newfoundland.

Close to the end of the sequence - poem ten of twelve - the poet Mary Dalton poses a riddle and even titles the poem "Ridding."


*


Riddling
By Mary Dalton


How is a club like a story?

One may beget the other;
atmosphere is all;
the light is a transforming one;
in the shadows are symbols and myths;
the characters are gathered against the storm;
time stops or expands or shrinks;
epiphanies abound—or fail to occur
the narrator is unreliable.


*


With twelve separate poems to work with, we offered them to different songwriters for a compilation-style score. Eric Rose volunteered for "Riddling."






Eric is based out of San Francisco, where he runs a company called Right Brain Consultants. He played in the Washington University campus band scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the guys who would eventually found Poetry Scores: Matt Fuller, Chris King and Elijah "Lij" Shaw. Eric and Matt formed half of the legendary Wash U campus band Butt of Jokes that first pulled Chris into the campus music scene as a fan and inspired him to start the band with Matt and Elijah (Enormous Richard) that eventually evolved into Poetry Scores.

"Riddling," after all of these years, is Eric Rose's first contribution to Poetry Scores, though we hope it will be far from his last.

Eric Rose (stretching) with Butt of Jokes, ca. 1989.
Future Poetry Scores cofounder Matt Fuller is on drums.
Stomping on his bass pedal is Ben Herzon, soon of The Bishops.

The other songwriters on "All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus: Nick Barbieri, Mark Buckheit, Robert Goetz, Ann Hirschfeld, Michael Martin, Joe Thebeau, Three Fried Men, The Lettuce Heads and Mike Stuvland.

*

The original announcement of the May 30 show with more details.

The series of photographs by Scott Walden, also titled "All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus," that inspired Mary Dalton's poem.

Mary Dalton

Mary Dalton has published five volumes of poetry, most recently "Hooking" (2013), "Merrybegot" (2003) and "Red Ledger" (2006). Her work has been widely anthologized in Canada and abroad and won many awards.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

"The Swallowing" by Mary Dalton and Nick Barbieri


"All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #6, Avondale, Conception Bay"
By Scott Walden (2007)
Artist retains rights. 

Like I was saying, Poetry Scores has a live premiere of a new poetry score on Saturday, May 30 at the Schlafly Tap Room in downtown St. Louis.

We scored "All the Clubs from Hollyrood to Brigus" by Mary Dalton, a poet of Newfoundland. "All the Clubs" is a twelve-poem sequence of "fictions, ruminations and riddles," as its subtitle says. Poetry Scores assigned the separate poems to different songwriters for an anthology-style score by committee: Nick Barbieri, Mark Buckheit, Robert Goetz, Ann Hirschfeld, Michael Martin, Eric Rose, Joe Thebeau, Three Fried Men, The Lettuce Heads and Mike Stuvland all scored Mary Dalton poems.

The poet has worked very closely with Nick Barbieri, who is producing the score for Poetry Scores. She advised the songwriters about pronunciations of local place names that her Newfoundland neighbors would recognize, recorded new videos of her poems for inclusion in our live show, and generally is cheering the project along.

As Nick pointed out, it makes sense that Mary Dalton would embrace our musical adaptation of her poems, because her sequence was itself the poetic translation of a series of photographs taken on the road between Holyrood and Brigus, Newfoundland, between 2005 and 2007 by Scott Walden.

"This series takes as its subject matter the bars and social clubs that line a 16-mile stretch of one of the oldest highways in Newfoundland," Scott Walden writes of his series of photographs, also titled "All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus."

"As social centres in their communities, the architecture and demographics of the clubs reveal a contemporary rural Newfoundland that is a mixture of young and old, corporate and mom-and-pop, threadbare and shiny new."

Mary Dalton's poems dive deeper down than architecture or demographics. She dives into the eyes of the club regulars Scott Walden captured with his camera. She sinks to the center and bottom of the human predicament on the social circuit between Holyrood and Brigus. Taverns and clubs are places where people gather together to drink alcohol, play games of skill and chance, and tell each other stories, and Mary Dalton's poems have much to say about why people seek each other's company, the games we play, the dreams and lies of alcohol, how the ritual of story both records experience and transfigures it.

In addition to producer of the poetry score and director of the big band that will perform it on May 30, Nick Barbieri is also one of the composers for "All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus." Nick scored the seventh poem in the twelve-poem sequence, "The Swallowing," as a four-song suite. In "The Swallowing," the poet dives to the bottom of the glass and of the person swallowing from it. Here are parts three and four of the suite.

*




"The Swallowing"
(Mary Dalton, Nick Barbieri)

Performed by Nick Barbieri and friends
Produced by Nick Barbieri
 
Mixed by Meghan Gohil of Hollywood Recording Studio, Los Angeles
Mastered by Lij of The Toy Box Studio, East Nashville

"The Swallowing, Part 3"

Nick Barbieri: acoustic guitars, bass, drums, keyboard, timpani & vocals
Brian Henneman (courtesy Bloodshot Records): electric guitars

Recorded by Nick Barbieri, except vocals recorded by Adam Long

The Swallowing, Part 4"


Nick Barbieri: drums, bass, piano & vocals
Frank Catalano (courtesy Ropeadope Records): tenor sax
Nathan Pence: upright bass.

Recorded by Nick Barbieri, except tenor sax recorded by Daniel Steinman, vocals by Adam Long

"The Swallowing" is available everywhere music is downloaded or streamed on Nick Barbier's solo record "Poetry Scored" (Hollywood Recording Studio) - for example, on iTunes.

*

The original announcement of the May 30 show with more details.

*

Mary Dalton
 

Nick Barbieri
recording Stefene Russell for Poetry Scores
Photo by Chris King
















Thursday, May 21, 2015

Poetry Scores premieres musical settings of Newfoundland pub crawl poems



All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus #58, Brigus, Conception Bay (2007)
By Scott Walden
(Artist retains rights)

Poetry Scores will premiere the musical score of a pub crawl poem from Newfoundland at The Schlafly Tap Room on Saturday, May 30, along with a CD release by Nick Barbieri and a set of Old Time music by Dugout Canoe.

This free show starts at 9 p.m. with Nick’s set, followed by the Poetry Scores premiere at 10 p.m. and Dugout Canoe at 11 p.m. The Tap Room is located at 2100 Locust St. in downtown St. Louis and is a full-service restaurant and bar specializing in homemade beer. Poetry Scores is a St. Louis-based artist collective that translates poetry into other media.

A band of Poetry Scores veterans, with some newcomers, will perform new musical scores of “All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus,” a poetic sequence about Newfoundland pubs and the people who pass through them by Mary Dalton.

Mary Dalton's poem is itself a poetic score of a series of photographs of the same name (2005-2007) by Scott Walden.

"This series takes as its subject matter the bars and social clubs that line a 16-mile stretch of one of the oldest highways in Newfoundland, one whose communities have been buffeted by many of the major post-confederation changes: the new industries, the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway, the elimination of the Newfoundland Railway, the ‘70s-era emigration for high-steel jobs in the United States, the moratorium on the fishery, and the ‘90s-era emigration of youth to Alberta," Walden writes.

"As social centres in their communities, the architecture and demographics of the clubs reveal a contemporary rural Newfoundland that is a mixture of young and old, corporate and mom-and-pop, threadbare and shiny new."

The twelve poems in the sequence have been scored by local songsters Joe Thebeau, Michael Martin, Three Fried Men, The Lettuce Heads, Mike Stuvland, Ann Hirschfeld, Nick Barbieri, Mark Buckheit and Robert Goetz, plus a score by Eric Rose of San Francisco (co-frontman in the seminal 1980s Wash U campus band Butt of Jokes).

The Poetry Scores house big band performing the scores will include Perry Anselman, Nick Barbieri, Mark Buckheit, Steve Carosello, Heidi Dean, Eileen Gannon, Robert Goetz, Meghan Gohil, Ann Hirschfeld, Adam Long, Michael Martin, David Melson, Brian Messina, Mark Overton, Jon Parsons and Geoffrey Seitz.

The Lettuce Heads’ two scores will feature Fred Friction and Stefene Russell, respectively, performing Mary Dalton’s poetry over recordings of Lettuce Heads garage jams.


Mary Dalton
 

Before each of the scores, Mary Dalton will perform the poem being set to music, on video from Newfoundland produced specially for this event.

Mary Dalton has published five volumes of poetry, most recently "Hooking" (2013), "Merrybegot" (2003) and "Red Ledger" (2006). Her work has been widely anthologized in Canada and abroad and won many awards.

As the opening act at 9 p.m., Nick Barbieri will celebrate the release of his debut album “Poetry Scored.” The same augmented Poetry Scores all stars will back Nick performing his scores of poems by Andreas Embirikos (translated by Nikos Stabakis), Chris King, Josephine Miles and Albert Saijo, as well as a cover of “Midget’s” by St. Louis songster Chuck Reinhart and several songs with Nick’s own lyrics.

Nick Barbieri leading the Poetry Scores all stars
in their 2014 score of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" by Josephine Miles

“Poetry Scored” has already been released by Hollywood Recording Studio and is available wherever music is downloaded or streamed - for example, on iTunes.

The night concludes at 11 p.m. with Dugout Canoe, arguably the greatest Old Time music band on the planet. Geoff Seitz, Dave Landreth, Marc Rennard and Andy Gribble are all legends in their own rights (and minds). Taken together, they are that much more legendary (and mental).

Dugout Canoe


Questions? Nick Barbieri, nickbedrock@gmail.com, or Chris King, brodog@hotmail.com.

*

Download a PDF of “All the Clubs from Holyrood to Brigus” by Mary Dalton


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Poetry Scores to premiere live score of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel"




Poetry Scores will premiere "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" 9 p.m. Friday, May 23 at the Schlafly Tap Room, 2121 Locust. A band of Poetry Scores regulars will perform 10 new scores of the 10 parts of the poem by Josephine Miles, with a different woman reading each of the 10 pieces of poetry before the songs.

The premiere will be followed at 10 p.m. by the duet Ann Hirschfeld and Mark Buckheit, and then at 11 p.m. by Dugout Canoe, a local all-star old-time music group. The show is free and open to the public.

The band performing "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" will be Nick Barbieri (drums, guitar, vocals), Mark Buckheit (guitars, vocals), Heidi Dean (keyboards, vocals), Eileen Gannon (harp), Adam Long (cello) and Tracy Swigert (guitar, vocals).

They will perform new poetry scores of Josephine Miles' poetry by Nick Barbieri, Mark Buckheit, Mike Burgett, Heidi Dean, Robert Goetz, Ann Hirschfeld, Chris King/David Melson, Michael Martin, Tracy Swigert and Joe Thebeau.

The women reading the 10 parts of the poem before the songs will be Beth Barbieri, Gina Dill-Thebeau, Catherine Eiler, Yaphett El-Amin, Kimberley Hughes, Julie Malone, Mali Newman, Nicky Rainey, Stefene Russell and Nina Thompson.

"Ten Dreamers in a Motel" was published in Josephine Miles' 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).

"Ten Dreamers" may be the first poem published where the motor hotel -- the motel -- is the defining organizing principle. The poem peeks briefly into ten separate sets of lives, brought together momentarily by the accident of a shared stopping space along the road. We're introduced to these ten sets of lives through brilliant flashes of poetic language, like headlights through motel curtains, with the abrupt symbolism and concentrated emotional power of dreams.

Josephine Miles (1911-1985) was a major American poet from California who has never quite been recognized as such. She was the first tenured woman professor in the English Department at the University of California - Berkeley, but her poetry was under-appreciated by the male-dominated literary establishment of her time. Her work, best represented in Collected Poems (University of Illinois Press, 1983), is ripe for rediscovery.

Download the poem.

Josephine Miles
Photo by William Stafford

*

PREVIOUS POSTS ABOUT "TEN DREAMERS"


Josephine Miles scored by Mark Buckheit and Shana Norton
Josephine Miles scored by Mike Burgett and Cindy Royal
Josephine Miles scored by Heidi Dean and Robin Street-Morris
Josephine Miles scored by Joe Thebeau and Carrie M. Becker
Josephine Miles scored by Michael Martin and Julie Malone

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Free local screening to celebrate film festival appearace in Rio


Movie still and poster by V. Elly Smith

Poetry Scores will co-host a free screening of its 2013 movie "Go South for Animal Index" at 7 p.m. Friday, May 16 at Nebula, 3407 So. Jefferson at Cherokee, to celebrate the movie's screening that same day at the 2014 International Uranium Film Festival, which is being held at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Preservationist and architectural historian Michael R. Allen will co-host and emcee the St. Louis screening. The event is free, but please sign up at Brown Paper Tickets if you plan to attend so organizers can estimate attendance. Nebula is a smoke-free environment. Limited complimentary drinks will be provided, though the public is welcome to bring their own drinks.

Michael R. Allen
 

Michael R. Allen is part of the movie's large ensemble cast that includes many well-known St. Louisans, including former fire chief Sherman George, international burlesque stars Lola van Ella and Kyla Webb, musician Tory Z Starbuck, writer Thomas Crone, African-dance impresario Mama Lisa Gage, and the late George Malich in his final screen performance.

Doors for the free St. Louis screening are 6:30 p.m. The program will start at 7 p.m. with brief remarks by Michael R. Allen, followed by a brief  (6:33) micro-documentary about the making of "Go South" produced by Thomas Crone and directed by Andy Alton.

After the documentary, Stefene Russell will read her poem, "Go South for Animal Index," which spawned the movie. Poetry Scores first set her poem about the Bomb to post-punk rock music and then shot and edited a feature silent film to that score.

Stefene Russell

After the reading, Michael R. Allen will interview Norbert Suchanek, co-founder of the International Uranium Film Festival, in Rio de Janeiro via Skype. "Go South" will have screened earlier that day at the Modern in Rio and Norbert can talk about how the movie was received and how the festival is going overall.

Norbert Suchanek

After the interview, at about 7:30 p.m., we will screen "Go South for Animal Index," a 90-minute feature.

"Go South for Animal Index" was directed by Chris King and edited by Dan Cross. The silent movie was shot and edited to a post-punk rock score of Stefene Russell's poem co-produced by Matt Fuller and Chris King. It was produced by Poetry Scores, an all-volunteer international arts organization based in St. Louis that translates poetry into any and all other media.

Chris King directs and Dan Cross shoots a scene from "Go South"

For more information, contact Chris King at brodog@hotmail.com.

To sign up and let organizers you know you plan to come, visit Brown Paper Tickets.

Follows news about the screening on this blog or on the Facebook event page.








Sunday, April 27, 2014

Josephine Miles scored by Ann Hirschfeld and Sarah Giannobile

"Into the thunder and silence of the unfolding"
by Sarah Giannobile (after Josephine Miles)

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 hosted a one-night-only Poetry Scores art invitational based on "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" 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 score will be performed live 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 will be followed by Ann Hirschfeld and Mark Buckheit (10 p.m.) and Dugout Canoe (11 p.m.).

Here is a demo of Ann Hirschfeld's poetry score of the 10th and final numbered section of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel," paired with Sarah Giannobile's visual adaptation of the same passage of poetry.

Free music

"Durable Darkness" (3:05) demo
(Josephine Miles, Ann Hirschfeld)
Click to open mp3 in new tab to keep reading blog.

Performed and recorded by Ann Hirschfeld

Poetry (c) 1955 Josephine Miles
Music (c) 2013 Ann Hirschfeld

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.

Independent music is played by Ann Hirschfeld
Photo by Cindy Petracek

Ann Hirschfeld is a versatile veteran of the St. Louis independent rock music scene. She grew up playing in adolescent bands with the likes of Carl Pandolfi and Michael Martin. She was co-leader of Plaid Cattle, a stalwart of the Cicero's Basement Bar scene of the late '80s and early '90s. Now she plays in The Deciders and a duet with Mark Buckheit and has emerged as a primary songwriter force for Poetry Scores. In November 2013 she led the Snow White All Stars in the live premiere of her poetry score to Anne Sexton's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (recording forthcoming later this year). She also has a song on the second Poetry Scores Hawaii project, devoted to Beat poet Albert Saijo (forthcoming in 2015, paired with a national juried art exhibition in the Art Department at the University of Hawaii - Hilo).

*

Here is the part of the poem Ann and Sarah translated into their respective media:


from "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" by Josephine Miles

10.
 
Midway stayed at a court between there and here
Where woodsmoke rose up straight into the sky,
Cabin by cabin the suppers cooking
Far as the eye could see, the courts unfolding
Durable darkness.

It was the tent and citadel of the many stars,
It was the rampart of the loud highway
And we slept there, waking
Into the thunder and silence of the unfolding
Durable journey.

*

"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).

*

Ann Hirschfeld leads the live premiere of her score of Anne Sexton's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Part 1 (poetry score starts at 5:10)
Part 2

Ann Hirschfeld in The Deciders Deluxe covering Guided By Voices

Ann Hirschfeld's awesome song "Ghost"

Ann Hirschfeld in Plaid Cattle on Critical Mass (1993)
(First song Ann leads is "Sense of Humor" at 5:57.)

*

Josephine Miles
Photo by William Stafford


*

ALSO FROM "TEN DREAMERS IN A MOTEL"

Josephine Miles scored by Joe Thebeau and Carrie M. Becker
Josephine Miles scored by Michael Martin and Julie Malone

*

Read @PoetryScores on Twitter.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Josephine Miles scored by Mike Burgett and Cindy Royal


 
"Mica Moraine" by Cindy Royal 
(after Josephine Miles)
mixed media


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 score will be performed live 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 will be followed by Ann Hirschfeld and Mark Buckheit (10 p.m.) and Dugout Canoe (11 p.m.).

Here is a demo of Mike Burgett's poetry score of the 5th numbered section of "Ten Dreamers in a Motel," paired with Cindy Royal's' visual adaptation of the same passage of poetry.






"Moraine" demo (2:22)
(Josephine Miles, Mike Burgett)
Performed and recorded by Mike Burgett

Poetry (c) 1955 Josephine Miles
Music (c) 2013 Mike Burgett

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.


Mike Burgett,
Snow White mirror selfie
(after Anne Sexton)

Mike Burgett has been the voice and songwriting power behind some of St. Louis' greatest quirky pop, as co-frontman of Aviation Club, which evolved into The Lettuce Heads -- a marvel of pop songcraft and ensemble rock musicianship that somehow survived from the early 1990s to the present day in its original quartet. The second Lettuce Heads record, long available only in coterie bootlegs but finally released as For Promotional Use Only, remains one of the most fantastic rock records almost nobody has heard. Mike is now an active contributing songwriter with Poetry Scores, most recently in its ongoing poetry score of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. He also has a song on the second Poetry Scores Hawaii project, devoted to Beat poet Albert Saijo (forthcoming in 2015, paired with a national juried art exhibition in the Art Department at the University of Hawaii - Hilo).

*

Here is the part of the poem Mike and Cindy translated into their respective media:


from "Ten Dreamers in a Motel" by Josephine Miles


5.


Carombed out of town in a comedy-chase fashion,
Police oblique to our path, and statues
Wheeled over, through Harlem, and all more wasteful as we went,
And ended up at this tourist cabin,
Its outlook, so it was said, restful.

Went to the window,
Pushed aside the curtains and there saw
That countryside we longed for: rocks,
Steep slopes of rocks, rubble and rusk of rocks.
What is it? and you said, moraine.


*

"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).

*

Mike Burgett in The Lettuce Heads on Confluence City

Mike Burgett with The Lettuce Heads scoring Stefene Russell's "Las Vegas Dace"

Mike Burgett noodling around that K. Curtis Lyle liked for a score of his poetry

Mike Burgett in the nowadays Lettuce Heads live at Stone Spiral Coffeehouse

*

ALSO FROM "TEN DREAMERS IN A MOTEL"

Josephine Miles scored by Joe Thebeau and Carrie M. Becker
Josephine Miles scored by Michael Martin and Julie Malone

*

Read @PoetryScores on Twitter.

*

"Mica Moraine" by Cindy Royal 
(after Josephine Miles)
mixed media