20 March 2010, Les Vans, France
7 December 2012, Palais de Justice, Valence, France
La Rose fleurit en Ardon.
La Rose d’Ardon !
A Rose in Ardony grows.
The Rose of Ardony!
Die Rose blüht im Ardon.
Die Rose vom Ardon !
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.
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
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.
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.
At 22:30 27-03-10, April Reiss wrote:
Quite beautiful, and heart wrenching.
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
- 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:
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
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
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
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."
Sounds like you need help. If I lived
within reach I would come over but I obviously I don't. Who can
Date: 27 March 2010
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.
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
Date: 26 March 2010
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.
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:
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
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.
Date: 25 March 2010
Subject: Please don't ask me to do this very often
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.
Date: 25 March 2010
Subject: Return of Son of Do Not Go Gentl(e/y)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Date: 24 March 2010
Subject: Hope the Accents Come Out
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
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:
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?
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.
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.
Date: 20 March 2010
Subject: Fwd: La Rose d'Ardon
Oops, s/grandit/fleurit. That's much better.
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.
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.
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
Date: 19 March 2010
Subject: Fwd: A Rose in Ardony
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.
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.