Monday, July 11, 2011

Oriental and Indian (as in India) flavors for "O sadness over rage O rage over sadness"

In 2012 we are scoring  O Sadness over rage O rage over sadness by K. Curtis Lyle. The text is a composite that Curtis and I arrived at together, working from a larger selection of his poems that deal with the American West. I asked to see his work in this vein when our movie unit decided we wanted to make a silent Western. In our way of doing things, that meant we needed to first find the right poem to score.

On our scores and our movies, Poetry Scores tries to use the ensemble approach of working with the same people we always work with. On our two previous scores, Jack Ruby's America by David Clewell (2010) and The Sydney Highrise Variations by Les Murray (2009), we worked with the St. Louis multi-instrumentalist musician Frank Heyer. Given our ensemble approach, naturally we will try to work with him on O sadness over rage ...

Frank was brought to us by our friend and erstwhile board member Brett Lars Underwood, who booked him into the Tap Room. When I explained our approach to Frank, I emphasized how we are always looking for instrumental fragments or vignettes that we can sequence into our scores. He responded by mailing me two discs of music, one on a yellow CD and the other on a purple CD.

The yellow CD -- noir rock excursions on fretless guitar and keyboards -- is what I've been plumbing on our scores. The purple CD intrigued me, but since the tracks mostly have Indian and Oriental flavors, I found no use for it thus far. I can see how that could change, big time, with the score to O sadness over rage ...

Ultimately, we want to make an Indian and Cowboy picture, with an emphasis on the Indian. I appreciate that Indian as in Native American is distinct from Indian as in India; but we practice the arts of translation and collage, and I think Indian as in India could work well on this score. (I already intend to use Indian as in India dancers in the movie.) As for the more Oriental sounds, anthropologists figure American Indians as an Asiatic people, who migrated from Asia to the west coast of this continent on a now-submerged land bridge.

I think Frank's music on his purple disc is so promising for this score that I uploaded all 12 tracks to share with the poet (my co-producer) and anyone else who wants to listen along.

Music by Frank Heyer (mp3s)

Purple disc Track 1

This one sounds kind of Chinese to me.

Purple disc Track 2

More Indian, as in India.

Purple disc Track 3

Purple disc Track 4

This sounds very native Andean. I'd like to use this piece.

Purple disc Track 5

Less focussed to my ears; probably not a keeper for us.

Purple disc Track 6

Purple disc Track 7

Purple disc Track 8

Purple disc Track 9

Purple disc Track 10

Purple disc Track 11

Nice, plaintive electric guitar work here.

Purple disc Track 12

Back to that overtly Oriental opening flourish. A longer track at 5:06.



O Tonks over sadness O sadness over Tonks
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


Bollywood Cowboy image from Catero's Flickr and belongs to him, not us.

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