The Rose of Ardony – La Rose d’Ardon – Die Rose vom Ardon

Words & Music by Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

20 March 2010, Les Vans, France

7 December 2012, Palais de Justice, Valence, France

810 days of Parental Alienation

La Rose fleurit en Ardon.
Elle sait, son papa l’aime.
L’ombre tombe sur le village.
Il neige, Ardon en hiver.
Chagrins m’envahissent.
Il n’y a aucune justice pour toi.
Ô Rose, quand te verrai-je ?

La Rose d’Ardon !

A Rose in Ardony grows.
She knows her father loves her.
Shadows fall on the village.
It snows, Ardony in winter.
Sorrows pain me inside.
It shows, no justice for you.
Oh Rose, when will I see you?

The Rose of Ardony!

Die Rose blüht im Ardon.
Sie weiß, ihr Vater sie liebt.
Schatten fallen im Dorf.
Es schneit. ‘ist Winter im Ardon.
Es schmerzt mir im Herzen.
Gibt’s keine Gerechtigkeit für dich.
O Rose wann werd’ich dich sehen ?

Die Rose vom Ardon !

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 March 2010

Subject: A Distinction without a Difference

Asked the difference between art and eroticism, Picasso replied, 'But there is no difference.'

Blame it on the Brits, or on Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 March 2010

Subject: New Lives

Someone else will have to say what (if anything) makes the melody seem haunting or harrowing, "too sad" according to Father of Sam, who wanted to brighten it up a bit with the chords, which I discouraged, but of course he might do it anyway, if indeed he does anything. Although music is eminently quantifiable, I'm not sure to what extent its beauty is explicable. We have no such problem in poetry, which is easily both quantifiable & explicable. So far as I can tell there are only two things that distinguish our poem. The rhyme occurs, not at the end of the verses, but at the beginning, except for the first (hemistich) rhyme, which allows the reader to get his bearings. Two of the rhymes, strategically placed in a symmetrical architecture [which rhyme & rhythmic patterns the German reiterates in the sch- alliterations], are trochaic, which throws off the whole iambic rhythm of the poem, and make it somewhat hard to sing. The rhythmic structure of the song is further embellished by the translations into an oxytonic language (French) and a trochaic language (German). While it's not my fault that those languages have different phonetic properties from English intonation, I did choose to translate the poem. No one forced me to do so. That choice is the fruit of esthetic decisions I made when I was twenty years old, and began learning spoken languages, after having been exposed to dead ones alone as a boy, Latin, Greek, & a little Hebrew. Although I was not thinking about song at the time, I did imagine polyglot art, and knew that that was what I wanted to create. I guess that's three things, the rhyme, the rhythm, & the translation. Well, I never said I could count. Rose & I will learn mathematics together. We know a good professor called laurent. Children are second chances, new lives.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 March 2010

Subject: Words & Notes

The expression would usually be "heartbreaking", "heartrending" or "gut-wrenching" (which I find a little vulgar), but I like "haunting" (which I've just used) & "harrowing". My daughter says that she loves me & that I love her, so I guess I have given her a sufficient quantity & quality o'love, but these things cannot be measured. I assume most fathers give as much to their daughters. What I have given Rose is poetry & song, truth & beauty, which is different, and can indeed be measured. Our song is in a minor key, according to Father of Sam, although he did not advise me of which key that might be, but surely it has to be D, E, or F, since those are the only notes in the melody. If Murder don't tell me, I will ask Sara, Rose's piano teacher, as I've decided to use this song in our lessons, of which we will happily have three in consecutive weeks, according to the schedule the powers that be have granted us, in their infinite wisdom. I have by now submitted the song to half a dozen musicians & one illustrator, and I'm not really playing favorites. My cousin Andrew could make it a perfect song, the Atlanta Sedition Orchestra could make it funky, Father of Sam could localize it, God knows what Murder or Pierre could do with it. I leave that up to your better lights. I will just point out that a song is made, not of feelings, but of notes, just as everyone should know (since I've quoted him more than once) that the supposedly hermetic poet Stephane Mallarme is said to have answered the impressionist painter Edgar Degas: "One does not make a sonnet with ideas. One makes it with words."

At 10:50 28-03-10, Moshe Reiss wrote:

Your love for Rose is obvious and will never die

And she will forever know it.

No one can ask more of a Father.

Dad

At 22:30 27-03-10, April Reiss wrote:

Quite beautiful, and heart wrenching.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 March 2010

Subject: Re: On wasting sweetness in the desert air

A little harsh, my friend, and several points that do not quite pass journalistic muster, I believe, as hereunder:

- Sex is no longer a private art form. The world has changed. It changed (symbolically) on that day back in 1998 (9/11 as it happens) when the whole internet learned of bclinton's phone sex & cigars. Uncle Bill, by the way, is one year older than you. The world in which we grew up, the world of paper books & offline sex, what I call the Gutenberg era, will seem as foreign to my daughter as medieval Hebrew cantillation marks seem to you. Rose's parents met online & first had sex via the telephone.

- Writing does not impinge. No one is forced to read anything. Usually the powers that be try, on the contrary, to forbid the unwashed from reading dangerous books. The telephone, which I do not use, impinges. When I throw pebbles at your window, I impinge, but you are good enough to tell me to "bugger off" when you are busy.

- Rose & I had a scandalous public run-in with the Catholic spiritual leader of Les Vans, and I've been feuding by mail with our temporal leader, but we haven't yet managed to attend worship in the round Temple. For all I know I may be the Jewish spiritual leader or Chief Rabbi of Les Vans.

- According to your definition ("bassement matérialiste") of literature, Franz Kafka, just to pick a name at random, was less the writer than Henry Miller, since the former published but two dozen stories in obscure German magazines and somewhat coyly renounced even posthumous success, while the latter was an illustrious man of letters who enjoyed great fortune in his lifetime (and whose daughter is now shamelessly selling off his artwork in an online auction). Even I would not go that far. [Actually I once compared Tropic of Capricorn favorably to Le Temps retrouvé. Gide at Gallimard famously rejected Du Coté de chez Swann for publication, so Proust had to pay to have it published by Grasset. Does that somehow make it a lesser work than À l'Ombre de jeunes filles en fleurs, which won the Prix Goncourt six years later?]

- If some day right-thinking (meaning rich) people pay me for what I wrote for love when I was penniless, will that retroactively alter the quality of my work [or merely your perception of it]?

At 09:33 28-03-10, The Scot wrote:

Stuff.

I'd just like things to be clear. I do not read, or otherwise interact with, "blogs". Not yours, not anyone's. I am old enough to remember the days when masturbation was the last private art form. Should you think otherwise, you have been misinformed, and not by me.

Well, I've prematurely ejaculated our new page.

Quite. It could be 100 pages, or two brilliant lines. It will under no circumstances impinge upon me. Should I require stains on my underwear, I will use traditional methods to bring them about.

Just so that you know. Blog away, dear boy, blog away. I will, despite its being Sunday and my feeling a strong call to bear Christian witness up at le Temple, leave you with a home truth. If no one is paying to read it, it isn't writing.

Yrs as always

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 March 2010

Subject: Somatization & Solfeggio

Heh, heh. Thanks for your concern, cousin, but aside from missing Rose I'm fine. I don't think writing music & making spelling mistakes in German are quite grounds for declaring a medical emergency. Americans tend to somatize everything, so the town drunk is a substance abuser, the village idiot is autistic, an ill-bred brat has attention disorder syndrome. They used to just be called: "No neck monsters". Rose don't have that problem. Her neck is beautiful, and her attention span almost sufficient for half an hour of solfeggio. We haven't got enough doctors in Ardony to medicate everyone anyway, and I'm on rather bad footing with most of them. In Les Vans there's quite a bit of competition for the coveted titles of town drunk & village idiot, so I'm not sure I've been short-listed for either. It's kind of a drunken, idiotic village, with lots of more-or-less unemployed poets & musicians like myself. There's lots of entertainment for the tourists, who will begin arriving at Easter. I'm looking forward to hanging our laundry on the clothes lines, picnicking in Julh Froment Parc, spending the whole day at the river, listening to a different concert every evening in summertime, reading three books by Sybille Bedford, whom the Scot has highly recommended to me. I was just a little gleeful (overJoyed might be the right word) yesterday at having written a song (words & music) in three languages. I would never have guessed I could possibly do that, the music bit. I did not know it was part of my skill set. Yet I have stayed lucid. I know it's not a great song, not even a whole song, just seven lines of easily-translated doggerel & three haunting three-note (D - E - F) melodies, and Nichelle (who don't like vibrato) will say I warble in baritone with far too much tremolo, but Father of Sam sings our song beautifully in his far more restrained tenor. Still, as the Scot would say: "It's better than a poke in the eye."

At 03:04 28-03-10, Lynn wrote:

Scott,

Sounds like you need help. If I lived within reach I would come over but I obviously I don't. Who can help you?

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 March 2010

Subject: Immor(t)ality

Well, I've prematurely ejaculated our new page. Someone may or may not make a song out of the words & melody I've written, but I don't really care. I've done my best. More than this I cannot do. I owe the world nothing, and I'm giving it poetry & song. If some people don't like it, too fucking bad. Die ganze Welt kann mich am Arsch lechen. I will die, but my love for Rose will not, as I have written it down. Read 'em & weep, my love. We will always be together. We will never die.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 March 2010

Subject: Rosesong Sedition

Now I understand why conductors are such assholes. If it takes this much handholding & cajoling to write a silly little song for my daughter, I can only imagine the tyrannical sadism necessary to con a hundred people into practicing & performing the Ode to Joy. No wonder Stanley Kubrik was such a cunt. He was trying to make a movie with a hundred other people mostly interested in taking drugs, getting laid, & going on lunch break, and their union representatives were present to observe & protest, if necessary. Yesterday I managed to find Father of Sam at home, awake, and practicing guitar, but of course he told me that his 'puter is dead, so he couldn't listen to the chorus. We worked on the song for half an hour. I've encouraged him to go with a ladino version he was playing with, but I'm not going to meddle too much. I'll just make sure he works on it a little each day until we get it right, and then I'll have to find musicians & a place to record it. This could take months. The only thing I've got going for me is that Les Vans doesn't close down for the summer. It closes down in winter. In the summer there are musicians everywhere. I'm not going to stickle about great skill. I do not aspire to perfection. Andrew (BCC above) can record a professional version, if he chooses. He knows real musicians. We're all just unemployed here. Shiiit, I forgot, laurent, would the Atlanta Sedition Orchestra like to play our song? Rose would love that. Everyone loves that vid, even my mother. We were interrupted by another bimbo, who called me Scott, so we must know her children, but I didn't recognize her pretty face. Her step-son is a good neighborhood kid, a skinny, pimply, longhair with his pants falling down and usually seen playing the guitar. He's nice to Rose, who thinks most of my friends are "old & ugly", which is true only of the Scot (BCC above), but I told her he knows many beautiful songs, which is also true. Last night he helpfully informed me that the word "slut" in English means a slovenly woman, which might be important for some reason I'm unaware of, but I figure I'll just pass along the knowledge. I don't really care what she thinks of my friends, and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. She likes Kim & Naia's mothers & her piano teacher, which is good enough for me. And of course everyone loves Rose, for all of the obvious reasons. Just so that anyone who so desires can stay synchronized, I've posted everything here, but I won't inform Father of Sam, since he lacks the education (He's awfully young.) to deal with this kind of shit.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 March 2010

Subject: Synthetisons

Mike,

J'ai beaucoup aime la facon dont tu as joue notre chanson cet apres-midi. Personnellement j'ai prefere la version un peu ladino (judeo-espagnole-arabe) mais je suis ouvert a toutes les interpretations. C'est toi qui connais la musique, pas moi. Je te respecte donc en tant qu'homme & en tant que musicien. En revanche, je ne te respecte pas en tant que philosophe, car tu n'es pas un philosophe respectable. L'Ecossais & moi, nous avons lu tous les philosophes, depuis Platon jusqu'a Wittgenstein & au-dela. Tu ne les as pas lus. Reviens me voir quand tu les auras lus. Cela peut te sembler cruel, mais je t'ai deja dit que je suis foncierement mechant. Les trois mille livres de Henry Miller dans l'appendice du livre que je t'ai offert, je les ai lus. Je suis vieux. Tu es jeune. Tu as raison de te preoccuper de la musique (pour laquelle tu sembles avoir un don) & du cul, car tu en as besoin. Je baiserai peut-etre quand & si je rencontre une femme baisable qui a lu trois mille livres elle aussi, et qui veuille bien de ma vieille peau. Je ne veux pas exposer Rose a l'ignorance chez moi, donc les femmes n'ayant pas lu sont exclues. L'ignorance, c'est la mere de Rose qui s'en charge, meme si c'est une femme cultivee d'une certaine maniere que je n'ai jamais comprise, car elle parle plusieurs langues & lit enormement, mais n'a rien transmis de tout cela aux soeurs ainees de Rose, qui sont d'une ignorance accablante. Je ne te demande qu'une chose: fais, s'il te plait, une chanson de mes mots & de ma melodie, mais une chanson enregistree, en anglais (moi au bariton), en francais (toi au tenor), et en allemand (une Allemande que je trouverai au besoin), jouee par des hommes, et non pas par le synthetiseur. Je trouverai les musiciens aux Vans, s'il le faut. Apres, tu en fais ce que tu veux. La propriete intellectuelle, qui n'existe pas, ne m'interesse pas.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 March 2010

Subject: Marie & Archie

Father of Sam is trying my patience. I actually did lace back up my shoes and trudge off in the rain at half past six, a time when I am usually looking forward to nothing more than supper & bed. When I rang the doorbell, what did I see? Another bimbo sitting on his floor eating what looked like take-out Chinese food. (Never eat Chinese food in France, nor Italian, nor anything but French or Moroccan.) I tried not to ogle the lady, and quietly explained to Sam, gave him the files off my key disc, and took off. The Scot was awake (He seems to have adapted quite well to the local culture of doing no work & sleeping a lot, although he complains bitterly of the shops always being closed.) He told me about some dyke he once tried to screw, but it turns out she might actually be interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybille_Bedford

I think I'll order her book Legacy from Amazon UK and read it this summer after Rose leaves and the days will be endless. I've got a few new goodies for her, a globe of the world so we can find America & Israel, eight petanque balls in four colors, and a Buzz Lightyear soft-boiled egg holder with a chocolate egg in it. I've also managed to make appointments to meet Marie from Martinique on 2 April, Archie from Trottenham on 3 April, a piano lesson with Sara on 4 April (Easter Sunday)... Oh, shit. I forgot about Kim's birthday. Her mother hasn't scheduled it yet, but I did tell her that Rose would be here that week-end. On the other hand, they might be working, and aren't very well organized, well, they do have three kids, so it can't be easy. I'll try to call her today, but they never answer the phone, and probably don't read their e-mail. I'll send a message, then confirm it by voice mail. One has to do these silly things in France, like snail mailing e-mail to C the G.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 March 2010

Subject: Please don't ask me to do this very often

Attached: rose_in_ardony_choruses.mp3

These French & Oriental types never cease to amaze me. Not only can't they wake up in the morning, but they need to take a nap in the afternoon. I rang Father of Sam's doorbell at half past four. He told me he was sleeping, and could I come back in a couple of hours? No, I fucking can't, you lazy piece of shit. It's pouring rain, and I'm going home to put on my slippers & not to be disturbed until tomorrow morning at four or five o'clock, when my mind will wake me up long before I need to go to work. Anyway he said he's been working on our song, so all is well. He don't really need the German translation, which he will refuse to sing anyway. I must just convince the famous illustrator to do our bidding. I was trying to be polite in answer to his bullshit argument, calling it "nonsense" rather than "rubbish" or what I really thought. He claims that being a children's author precludes his working with us, as if we haven't got children, well at least I've got one. I told him about Roald (or however the fuck it's spelt) Dahl, whom he surely knows & admires. I've even made up a pseudonym for him, if he feels the need to isolate himself from my contagious pornography virus, Paul Bishop. Shiiit, this is fucking easy. As I was typing, in a mostly pitiful drunken state, I've just written (or sung, to be more precise) the trilingual chorus of A Rose in Ardony (attached). It's not much, mostly the same notes I think, maybe even in the same order, but it seems right to me. Can someone please tell me what notes I have sung? Let's blame this on Murder. I can't remember the last time he was up for keelhauling, and yet he's taught me how to listen to music more closely. The notes penetrate my obtuse head, interact with the words (which I know how to manipulate) and suddenly feel the need to reappear in another order. Why isn't everyone writing music? OK, I know, some people have real jobs. Well, let them enjoy their money. Rose & I will settle for Nichelle's hundred songs o'love.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 March 2010

Subject: Return of Son of Do Not Go Gentl(e/y)

Heh, heh. I have never met quite this combustible cocktail of erudition, vulgarity, cheapness, covetousness & cantankerousness. I think it's the month-long detox & subsequent teetotalling that are killing him (BCC above). More on the rhythm of the Dead: I've got the first line of each of the eight stanzas before the first (rather restrained) guitar solo timed at: 0:26, 0:44, 1:02, 1:21, 1:40, 1:58, 2:16, 2:35. We're dealing with an eighteen-second verse, so I've tried timing the slideshow intervals at both 9000 & 4500 (which I believe is preferable), but I can't seem to get the images to dance to the music. My measuring devices (eyes & ears) are fairly primitive, so can someone please help me improve on these rough observations? The right interval around 4500 milliseconds would also allow me to import 140 images total (which is astonishingly easy, since I finally found javascript to steal that is really a masterpiece of elegance & concision), by which time we'll be doing something else entirely. I don't think this song is worth the painstaking analysis we've given to Auld Lang Syne, Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Vivaldi's Winter & Ravel's Bolero, but I guess I could probably be convinced, if my cousin Andrew cares to try. It would seem counterintuitive that James Brown was a more accomplished musician than Jerry Garcia, but it might be true, for all I know. I've also added the studio version of that odd little bit called "At a Siding". The Dead were a real-time, analog band, and the studio version of the whole thing sounds fairly d(r)eadful, but I don't think they played that last stanza & couplet live, unless someone can find me a bootleg, which I'd be happy to sub. I'm going to wander off & find Father of Sam. The cunt has nothing to do all day (Sam's at his mother's, who is not so pretty as C the G, but Sam & his father might disagree.) but write our song. I don't think he's fucking the Bimbo, but I don't quite see how that matters anyway. He's young, so he can probably have sex six times a day, but that still leaves a lot of time for an unemployed man. Besides, I've often written e-mail in my head during sex. Why can't he write music?

From: The Scot

Date: 25 March 2010

Subject: Re: Bold New World

Which is exactly why the Internet is the most pernicious, vermin- ridden excuse for an institution in the long, much-poxed history of the human race.

I fear, however, that illness confines me to bed. For the moment. Yesterday's essay to Ales resulted in lots of goodies, still lying around un-connected, and utter, wheezing exhaustion. I expect I will die soon.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 March 2010

Subject: Return of Son of 100 Virgins

Nichelle, of course, works harder than all of us, but she is like Art Rimbaud. She doesn't like to wake up in the morning, and she prefers to ride the red bike, rather than writing the 100 songs o'love she has promised us. It don't really matter to me. I know that Nichelle has those sonnets inside her. I can imagine them. Yes, I would like to read them, but I feel comfort in knowing that they are there.

Only Joy, Murder & laurent work as hard as I do. If I eventually find myself with a hit song on my hands, you'll know why, my friends. The morning is no time to sleep.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 March 2010

Subject: The German World

I've posted the German verses. It's not really for public viewing, though I haven't made it private since I don't care who listens to me warbling in German. It's a working document, to show whoever can manage to make a song out of my words & melody how it sounds in German. I got the Roses wrong, since I pronounce her name in one syllable. So what we've got is three one-minute verses (mixed meter) & three choruses (repeated twice in a row, English iambic trimeter, French iambic dimeter, German: "die ROse im ARdon", mixed hexameter [that sounds good nevertheless when carefully pronounced]). We need a melody for the chorus, a bridge, orchestration, modulation (of which Andrew has already kindly provided the framework), and musicians who can actually sing & play this, for the rhythm is very hard. I've got another little wrinkle up my sleeve, but I don't really want to talk about it, 'cause I'm in tense negotiations with a famous illustrator who might or might not wish to contribute to art in another genre I'm working in that doesn't exist yet. The rhythm is just a problem because there are in fact four rhythms (& three languages) at work: the tonic accents of words, the phrasal & syntactic accents of syllabic groups, the metrical accents of verse (poetry), and the musical accents of beats. This is actually a happy circumstance, since it allows us to make them coincide as much as possible, if we wish, but also to play with their discords. If feasible, I think it might be nice to have Father of Sam sing the French in tenor, me sing the English in baritone, and some German wench sing in alto or soprano. That would add tonal wealth to the song, and also help Rose to understand that the verses are sung in different languages, and thus different octaves.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 March 2010

Subject: Bold New World

I was wrong. The internet is better than fire, better than sex, better than everything. When a man like me, utterly ignorant in all matters musical & computational, can write a trilingual song (melody and English, French & German lyrics) in one morning that a doctor of music (my cousin, but still) deems good, can create a random Rose generator in half a day, then the World we live in is good. Read 'em & weep, motherfuckers. I had to slow down the rhythm, to five thousand milliseconds for the moment. Murder, when you find the time, I'd like to know your thoughts. Is there some way to time the interval to the music, but still keep it at least above four seconds? The lyrics are good, as is the tune, and it's a long song, since I'll be adding ten to fifteen images a year. Yet there's none of those drug-induced-stupor solos that I kind of like, but might bore Rose. Her taste is pre-eminent (and irrefutably good), even if it sometimes results in unfortunate accidents, such as the destruction of Tom Sawyer, which I'll have to buy back for the neighborhood library.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 March 2010

Subject: Hope the Accents Come Out

And why not, as I'm waiting for someone to tell me what's wrong with my javascript slideshow (in case anyone can help. The song is Terrapin Station, whose rhythm we'll eventually figure out. For the moment I've got it at 1500, which I think is about right, slightly faster than La Vie en Rose) I decided to translate Rose into German. Easy enough. It alternates nicely between native trochees & imported iambs. Father of Sam will hate it. I don't think he likes the German language. Marie once told me there were three languages she hated: German, Arabic & Occitan, but she speaks fucking Ladino, and was too embarrassed to speak in Barcelona for fear of letting slip a Turkish or Hebrew word, so I had to do all the talking in English, which was absurd, since she could understand every word of Spanish. Anyway, I don't care who writes the song, or better yet, Andrew can write a pop or jazz version, Murder or Pierre (who was on strike yesterday at France Musique) a classical version, and Father of Sam an Arabic version. If John Lee Hooker could sell the same song to three companies under different titles & pseudonyms, why can't I give a song to three or four people? I saw Father of Sam at the coffee house yesterday afternoon with the Bimbo. I don't think he's working very hard. Only Joy, Murder & laurent work as hard as I do. If I eventually find myself with a hit song on my hands, you'll know why, my friends. The morning is no time to sleep.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 March 2010

Subject: An Oasis in Les Vans

This interpretation of my own words is worth no more than yours, but here it is anyway: "Me & you are not important. Poetry & song (truth & beauty) are. I know poetry. You know song. Nothing else matters." I've just given our song to Mike, Father of Sam, a Jew born of a Christian mother like yourself, along with your helpful comments (which I will never forget) and suggested modulations. I showed him our various slideshows (Check the site. You contributed at least as much as anyone aside from our grandfather to what little musical education I've got, so they're yours too.), and he was able to respond to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which is proof of both musical ignorance & musical talent. He sings in the European solmization style: "Do, Fa#, etc." He also needs to change the octave, as his voice is higher than mine, and he's a lot taller & better looking. I told him to do whatever the fuck he wants. I'll try to get one of you, Nichelle, Joy, Murder, laurent, Pierre, or Andrew to correct his mistakes, if he happens to make any. All of you are better musicians than he, but he is younger & hungrier (read: poorer), which may work to his advantage. He did not like Mack the Knife in German, but I can understand that. It's not easy listening. He also asked me, for some indiscrete reason of his own, if I had a pic of my wife, but when I showed it to him he claimed that modesty forbid him to look at it. Um, so why the fuck did you ask to see a pic of my wife, which modesty would also seem to forbid? Whatever. I'm not really worried about his music. He has a Judeo-Arabic culture, and I don't care if he turns it into an Arabic song. I'm worried about the orchestration. I will not accept the rehashed Bob Dylan & synthesized instruments I heard at his concert. Well, fuck this. I'm getting drunk. I have done more than my job. Let the fucking musicians ply their trade.

At 01:55 20-03-10, Andrew wrote:

"It doesn't matter in the least what you think of me. It matters what you think of music" - this is remoniscent of the Hollywood cliche where what the old jaded beauracrat's intransigence is challenged by appeal to the love of beauty left in his heart - pretty insulting

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 March 2010

Subject: Les Iambes

Let the public flogging & humiliation begin. This morning Peter sang to the tune of the Canon of Pachelbel, this horrible, horrible song by the awful Michel Sardou, whom thankfully none of you (except the unhappy Cor(r)in(n)e & laurent) have the displeasure to know:

http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusique/_c/php/emission/popupMP3.php?e=70000040&d=410000260

This may be the singer Marie once pointed out to me at the pharmacy. I guess he was filling up on Viag(a)ra & percodan. I couldn't find his name in my mailboxes, but I didn't look very hard. Anyway, Pierre sings wretchedly, even worse than I. I guess I shouldn't say that, since he's already faced far more public flogging & humiliation on his Facebook page, where his friends were ruthlessly berating him for his impaired judgement last night, before they had even heard the file, whose ominous presence he announced in advance, probably hoping to up his hit count, or whatever that's called on the radio. Aside from the bad taste of this whole ten-minute radio show (which of course we don't mind, contrariwise to Peter's friends), I did notice that Pierre (who can be heard laughing at himself while trying unsuccessfully to sing) was in fact singing iambs, which is nearly impossible in French, which is for phonetic reasons a worthless language so far as poetry & song are concerned. Alfred de Vigny was not a great poet, but he wasn't exactly dogshit either. He tried to write iambs (in a poem helpfully entitled Les Iambes) and failed utterly. How the fuck did Michel Sardou manage to write them, if indeed he wrote the song, which I'm not about to check?

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 March 2010

Subject: The German Soprano

At the end of a good, but eventful, week-end, Rose got tired. We spent Saturday morning with Kim, and the afternoon at the Carnival parade, marching about town with Naia & the thronged of children of Les Vans. We had a hard time getting started on Sunday, as no one but old people could seem to wake up, so we went uninvited to Sofian's, and played soccer in the town square before eating at the Dardaillon and repairing to the Julh Froment Parc. We came home briefly for a drink & rest, but Rose convinced me to watch a little of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which I foolishly accepted. When it was time for Rose's piano lesson, she was just too tired, so we discussed it, a few tears were shed, but I agreed to cancel the lesson, if she preferred to nap in bed rather than in the car. I made one last-ditch argument, saying that I would have to call Sara to cancel, so that if Rose changed her mind five minutes later, it would be too late. The words: "too late" rang a bell, so Rose adjusted her strategy, agreeing to nap in the car for the twenty-minute ride, which I extended for fifteen minutes in the parking lot before waking her up to go to the lesson a little late. (Murder, never give private lessons to children, unless it's Rose.) The English lady is quite the musical pedagogue. She has Rose learning to read and write music, a science known as solfeggio or solmization in Europe. We have agreed to fixed-do (whose advantages I appreciate) but letter-names for the notes (which is indisputably superior. The French confuse the nature [pitch] & function [degree] because of their poor vocabulary.) It is not easy, especially as Sara uses English we are not used to, such as G-clef for treble-clef and "hop" for "skip". I try to ease over confusion, and noted that Rose is left handed, which apparently doesn't make much difference on the piano, so I told Rose: "Well, you use both feet to walk, right?" Rose is right footed, so I'm not sure the analogy is apt, but Rose didn't argue the point. I'm a little disappointed no one has come up with a plan to build my words & melody into a song. Father of Sam has courage. Instead of killing himself in some dead-end job in order to be merely poor, he prefers to live impoverished off social services & dedicate himself to his son & music. I approve. On the other hand, he is not in your musical universe, and doesn't know how to write e-mail. I hesitate to give him my song, and wouldn't know how to do so anyway. If he can't use the 'net, how can he hear the song? I'm not singing it to him in some bar. There is a German lady with a trained voice, you know the kind that instantly makes everyone in a crowded bar turn around, because people who know how to sing sing louder & much more clearly than we do. But her orchestra included an appallingly drunken architect with an American grandfather who talks way too much and has been shamelessly chatting up C the G for three years. Of course, he has been working in Turkey for a few months. Maybe the German lady has a new formation. These are competent musicians who would know how to orchestrate & arrange A Rose in Ardony. (That's La Rose en Ardon in French in order to distinguish it from the book title. I couldn't use the indirect article because French metrics count [and French crooners often pronounce] the silent -e, which makes some perverse kind of sense, if done right, as Racine, Lafontaine, Baudelaire, not too many others, and a few singers you've never heard of [except Cor(r)in(n)e & laurent of course] have been able to do.) I trust the German lady. She's a tough bitch, and don't care what C the G thinks. She's also a foot taller than I, and outweighs me by about half. She sings beautifully in both English & French, as well as German, of course. She must know how to write e-mail.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 March 2010

Subject: Purim & Elsewhere

After carnival (see now-published Purim page and a new pic I'll put in Portrait Gallery and another in Reiss vs Uccellatore) Rose asked me to sing her song again, so I took advantage of the opportunity to sing the French version., which you can hear here. I got the accent of viLLAGE wrong and may have made some other mistakes. Also in English I think I lost the melody or something in "no justice for you". So, that's two verses, two minutes of song a capella, without the chorus, bridge, intro, outro, solos, etc. It's a standard 3-5 minute song, possibly longer if it is a cantata or something. I don't know what you have in mind, if anything. I saw Father of Sam yesterday, but didn't mention the song. I won't, at least not until he manages to write me e-mail. If he can't do that, then we can't work together anyway. I'm not going to sit with him at night working on songs. I write them in the morning, when Rose (and musicians) are alseep.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 March 2010

Subject: Fwd: La Rose d'Ardon

Oops, s/grandit/fleurit. That's much better.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 March 2010

Subject: La Rose d'Ardon

Heh, heh. I've translated the song into French. This will give you a little more to work with so that no one in the orchestra gets pissed off because he hasn't got a solo. (It is entirely up to you, of course, what kind of formation [rock, jazz, chamber, symphony, whatever] & orchestration.) The rhythm of the French is different, of course. I'll record the French version next week. We can just make the song bilingual, like Nichelle, My Belle.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 March 2010

Subject: Bridge & Chorus

If you need a chorus, that would just be: "The Rose of Ardony. The Rose of Ardony." (Ardony, by the way, is a made-up name for Ardeche, which is where we live, kind of like a state, but smaller. Napoleon drew them up under his famed "divide & conquer" strategy.) Semantically the chorus would come after v2 (loves her), v4 (winter), v6 (for you) & v7 (see you), but the rhythm is structured in a chiasma format: 2v - 3v - 2v, where part two is defined by those trochaic rhymes (shadows & sorrows) that are hard to sing. I'm not sure about the melismata either, as I seem to have sung them somewhat arbitrarily on lines of four, five & six syllables, but on all of the lines of two syllables (where they are indeed needed to fill out the melody). That's why you are a musician. You understand these things, which reminds me: Is this song in a key? Is it diatonic or pentatonic? I love to play with the tonic & dominant. In some ways music & mathematics are more fun to me than words, since I know absolutely nothing about the former. It makes the game a little more free when you can blissfully ignore the rules.

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 March 2010

Subject: RE: I have written a song

Cool. Please feel free to do whatever you like with the song. I still can't read music, so this is apparently just one of those random miracles that sometimes happen to the utterly undeserving Of course it is just the bare bones of a potential song. Still, not bad for two hours work between breakfast & a shower, given that I have no musical education & can't play a musical instrument. I would not be inclined to add more lyrics, but I won't rule it out, if we need them. My daughter Rose (aged three and a half) has begun piano lessons with an English lady so that she will not suffer from the same ignorance as her father. We are concurrently working on a Bolero bonanza that should be finished early next week after I process the week-end pictures of carnival.

At 03:46 20-03-10, Andrew wrote:

OK, first reactions:

* a joy to hear your voice, Fucker!
* you've got a bunch of good rhymes for __ose, certainly - as the song is not fully formed in a conventional way, you could use those rhyming lines as a "framework", if you chose
* Automatically, I'd take that F-E-D, D-E-F/D motif and move it around different pitch levels, e.g., F-E-D, D-E-F/D, G-F-E, E-F-G/F, D-C-B, B-C-D/B, etc.
* another plus is it's actually convincing as a love song

I'll give it another listen or two this weekend

Andy

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 March 2010

Subject: Fwd: A Rose in Ardony

Andrew,

By some extraordinary circumstances I have written a song, both words & music. I have no idea if the music is shit. The words are somewhat weepy doggerel, but that isn't necessarily an obstacle. It doesn't matter in the least what you think of me. It matters what you think of music. Could you please just click on the link below?

Thanks, and best regards.

From: SAGReiss

Date 19 March 2010

Subject: A Rose in Ardony

We have Father of Sam to thank for my vicious hangover this morning. Quelle idee to go to a bar at seven in the evening to listen to music. Can't musicians wake up in the morning? Anyway, I woke up at six and a couplet I'd been thinking about for weeks grew into a short poem, basically doggerel, a little weepy at that, but I like the way the rhythm keeps changing slightly from what is schematically iambic trimeter. I've written it that way [accentuated syllables in uppercase] so that Father of Sam, if he ever figures out how to write e-mail, will know where the tonic accents fall. An odd thing happened, however, this morning as I brewed coffee & wrote the poem. I came upstairs and began writing into Word. As I worked on the lyric, I found myself humming it. By eight o'clock I had written a song, words & melody. Now maybe it's just some very famous piece of music that got stuck in my head, and I deludedly think I wrote it. Maybe it's just an awful dirge. Or maybe it's not too bad, good enough for rock & roll at least. I have no way of knowing, my friends, so at the risk of public flogging & humiliation I've posted it here. (The file got all fucked up when I extracted the audio, but you can still hear my crooning without having to see my ugly face.) The weirdest thing is that, after singing the song this morning, I got distracted at work with a horrid Word document in German, to which my boss wants me to do dumb-stupid things such as inserting a watermark, which always looks bad &/or makes the text unreadable, and by the time I left, I could not remember the song. The human mind is a strange place to live in. I wracked my brains, heartbroken that I had lost the only song I've ever written, but it came back, and I just kept singing it on the way home, so I wouldn't forget. Can you imagine how the Indians (Peter has recently played me some Navaho music.) managed to write music with neither written notation nor recording devices? Anyway, please let me know what you think, even if that somehow involves public flogging and humiliation. It's not a great poem, but we have recently seen a few examples, Vivaldi, Schiller/Beethoven, Ha(e)ndel, Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, that sometimes a mediocre lyric can make a great song. Only Cor(r)in(n)e's selection, Purcell's Lament of Dido, is as good poetry as it is song. Father of Sam, if he chooses to accept the mission, will have to fill out the ten- (or nine-) note melody and perform the arrangement. I'd just like to know what those notes are, if you can make them out in the mp3 file.

SAGReiss