Saturday, March 28, 2009

Maria chanted, Henry translated, Kaija scored, David directed, Karita sang, I assigned, Leyla drew

This is a collaboration between my daughter Leyla Fern and myself.

Last night at Powell Symphony Hall I copied down favorite lines from the Maria Sabina chant/text while I was trying to follow the poetry score to it, "Mirage" by Kaija Saariaho, performed by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, under the musical direction of David Robertson.

"I am the lady doll," Maria Sabina chanted.

"Because I can swim in all forms," Maria Sabina chanted, and Henry Munn translated.

Fortunately, swimming in all forms is something Leyla draws, or does, almost every day.

"I am I am I am the sacred," Maria Sabina chanted, Henry Munn translated, and Kaija Saariaho scored.

I modulated "the sacred" to Leyla as "God", when we were working out her assignment. I'll leave Leyla's wholly undirected, personal portrait of God to speak for itself, reserving extended commentary for another time.

"I am the shooting star," Maria Sabina chanted, Henry Munn translated, Kaija Saariaho scored, and Karita Mattila sang in front of a soaring Saint Louis Symphony orchestra, in counterpoint to Anssi Karttunen on cello, under the musical direction of David Robertson.

And Leyla drew, in the dentist's office this morning.


This piece was produced for Eddie Silva and The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Publications Department as part of its online media effort, "Blogger's Night II."

A companion piece, SLSO Blogger's Night II: an adventure with friends, is to be found on that there Confluence City.

In a preview post, I have more to say about the origins of Maria Sabina's chants.

A nice taste of "Mirage" may be heard on its publisher's website.

Notes and sketches to be continued, with the last piece on last night's program. Also, the band hits the same program again 3 p.m. Sunday, March 29, then takes the show on the road to Carnegie Hall (April 4).

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