Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Moving Into Lent

the wind sweeps in from out
crow’s wing brushes whisper across the forehead
they’re falling now
                                    a couple more
            funneled into sluice gates and caught
            before a finality is realized –
every so often you feel the wing brushing close
like a scythe whistling through the air
you wonder what gets harvested
            what blackness
            or searing light
            who the dark becomes
            blinding whiteout   
            and why

is it time
and is all this collateral
or is this a target

a morning is cruel, or it is not
a night is harrowing, or it is not
the world is pain, or it is not
the is and is not of wildly intersecting planes
flashing crazed like the eye blinks

Monday, February 12, 2018

Oraison - Olivier Messiaen (1937)

From the liner notes to Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music 1948-1980: "Oraison was not the first all electric work for the concert stage. It did, however, represent the first time a composer of this stature had devoted the whole piece to electrically produced sounds." The ondes martenot, an early primitive synthesizer that was a cross between an organ and a theremin, is the instrument in use here . . . and while, as noted, Messiaen was not the first to feature it, he was probably the first to use it as a centerpiece instead of part of an ensemble, and he was certainly the highest profile composer to do so.