28 July 2020

Meanwhile, Here in Boston

They’ll eat their words with a fork and spoon.
— The Beach Boys “Catch a Wave.”
I can’t give it away on Seventh Avenue.
— Mick Jagger “Shattered.”
One never knows, do one?
— Fats Waller

Last night we had our periodic Triad meeting, planning how we might prepare to present a concert this November. The unusual times call for creative solutions.  The program we had originally planned for Spring of this year was dubbed I’ll Make a Harp of Disaster, a theme poignant in its prescience.  The piece of mine which was originally on the docket is Annabel Lee, which will not serve well for the present exigencies.  So tonight I was inspired to compose two short new pieces suited to the atypical preparation cycle of this year:  One on a text of Leo Schulte, “A Bell”:

A bell-free Life, 
Where the Harps of Time are never strung,
And the Chords of Gray are never strummed,
Where the ringing, snowing Crows
And the chiming, drowning Sounds 
Of a lost Earth ascending
Are stilled.

Your languishing Faith, Aurelia,
Your increasing Doubt, Aurelius,
Flourishing and anguishing Arcadia,
Chanting Melismas lugubrious,
Music melting into dubious

A bell-filled Death,
Where the Verbs of Time are always heard,
And the Hues of Love are always blurred,
Where Colors blending, confounding, and transcending,
Time-rhymed Colors, Verb-blurred Colors,
All unnamed and unknown are stirred by the Hand

Of God.

The other, setting a poem of Walt Whitman “The Last Invocation”:

AT the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful, fortress’d house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks—from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.

Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks—with a whisper,
Set ope the doors, O Soul!

Tenderly! be not impatient!
(Strong is your hold, O mortal flesh!
Strong is your hold, O love.)

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