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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Sunday, February 25, 2018


I remember when I was a young academic and I thought it would be good to talk about William Carlos Williams at the MLA at some point, but every year the WCW Society would have a panel on "Williams and Medicine" or "Williams and Baseball."  It never turned out to be a topic I wanted to talk about. I began to hate that and.

So I would never write a book on "Lorca and Music."  My aim is to destroy the and--if that doesn't sound too pretentious. You can look at music through Lorca, or Lorca through music, but the and is odious. It implies that this is an extraneous topic, like baseball to Williams or insurance to Stevens. I have the same objections to the "words and music" movement. That is why I prefer my own discipline, song studies. In song studies we don't see words and music as separate entities to be brought together through abstruse comparisons or spurious contrasts. I guess you might object to the "studies" part. You should just say you are in song.

You could say that song is the performance of poetry by other means. Song, then, is an extension of poetics, not an arbitrary linking between two separate arts. It would be a little bit like trying to separate dance from music. I'm sure there are dances that don't involve music at all, but they would be a bit unusual. It would be a bit unusual to have a discipline called "dance and music" in which the idea is to bring the two together. We see the pairing as natural. The analogy doesn't hold up totally, but I'm going to hold to that for the time being. I'm going to contend that dance is a musical form, like song. That vocal music is the original kind of music, and that song is the origin of poetry too. These are hardly original ideas.    


I remember making a new year's resolution once to take voice lessons. It didn't happen the year that I resolved to do it, but it is happening now. I am on my second teacher and third year, and the voice is better. (The first year not much improved.) I am in my third semester of choir, my second year of piano lessons, have been composing since 2015.

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