John Rufo: An Interview with Jennifer Bartlett - cover photo by Emma Bee Bernstein[*Jennifer Bartlett*is the author of several books of poetry, including, most recently *Autobiography / Anti-Autobiograph...
Thursday, July 7, 2011
O Tonks over sadness O sadness over Tonks
Tonight I was picking through the Poetry Scores archive when I chanced upon some music by William Tonks. Tonks is a songster and musician in Athens, Georgia I befriended many years ago.
I brought his music up from the basement, I mean the archive, and I gave it a good, long, loving listen with my neighbor over a bottle of 2009 Puydeval.
I really was just trying to get my Tonks on, but I was surprised to find in the unreleased recordings he sent me a number of instrumental tracks with a certain flavor.
As a guy who scores poems as a hobby, I mean as a vocation, I am always on the prowl for unreleased instrumental music I can park inside a piece of poetry we are scoring. Especially when the music was written and recorded by a friend. It's like writing and recording a song with a friend, except my friend already has done most of the work.
The next creative musical project on the horizon for Poetry Scores is to come up with a score for the silent Western we want to make. For the first time, we are starting with the (very generic) concept for a movie: a silent Western. Given the way we work, from poem to score to movie, we had to find a poem.
We worked with the great K. Curtis Lyle to chisel a poem from his many unpublished Western texts, O Sadness over rage O rage over sadness. My neighbor and I opened the poem and read through it while listening to the Tonks instrumentals. We picked some instrumentals that sound promising for the score, and we assigned some tentative titles to them from the poem.
Here is what we came up with!
"Back to a pumpkin seed"
"The man who met the red deer is here"
"They lost the bone fire stove"
OTHERS IN THIS SERIES
The crow blows down the gap in the wind
Frontier fiddle concerto by Barbara Harbach for silent Western
Six Chirps Smith fiddle tunes for a silent Western score
"Alcohol and Used Father Peyote" with Mike Burgett
From car jam to lost rock bands to Black Indian Cowboy poem
Barbara Harbach string quintet for Black Indian Cowboy score
Spaghetti Western music for O sadness over rage O rage over sadness