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Bleak Mids

solo for concertmate 7000, feedback, and texts

This is one of several pieces for viola derived from cutting songs about snowflakes into paper snowflakes and then reading them through one another. This piece utilizes the following texts in performance:

musical instruments want to sound

the stretched skin speaks

and a snare drum speaks

like a membrane or the walls

in the syrinx of the throat of a bird, speaks

is it the bird that sings

or is it the throat?

when human throats sing out

of their own accord

we say the person has a syndrome

I have a syndrome too

I fear my throat will scream

it wants to speak

like a membrane or the walls

in the syrinx of the throat of a bird

I get this feeling often

especially during Contemporary Music concerts

is it the bird that sings or is it the throat?

some humans are said to sing with their throats

the harmonic singing from Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet

is described this way

when I listen to them

I feel like I can hear the wind


while the West privileges being

over non-being

this is not a syndrome for the East

says Chris Marker he speaks

through letters written by Sandro Krasna

the cameraman in the film Sans Soleil

Sunless, Marker speaks with Kransna’s voice

Kransna speaks through Marker’s voice

Marker makes a film using Kransna’s film

Krasna speaks through the synrinx of the narrator

the resonance comes from Marker

who has a cave for a mouth

the narrator speaks the text

she has a flat voice

and there are many images of cats

emu and owls in the film

that vibrates like a string

or a vocal fold

or the walls in the syrinx

of the throat of one of the birds

in the film

if they chose to speak

it would probably be meaningless

it would lack repetition

in the West is privileged

meaning over absence

presence over nonsense

strings without a throat

resonating in the wind

without a body that would reveal

the shape of the wind

ringing like an aeolian harp

but little sound can be heard

unless they are connected to a body

that wants to speak

or one that wants to hear

wind music, uplifting

such music would be breathless

does the bird sing

or is it the throat that sings

it is possible that the bird has little to say in the matter

as when the body of the earth

covered in fog

or when touched by a fingertip

or a cool wind

a body shivers

the wind is close in shape

to a shiver

though it might

last longer

leaving the weeds in the bleak mid-wind

Frosty knows how to seek out moans

white clouds hard as iron within

layer upon layer of earth and stone

red sun, red water

clear and bright

looking to the left:

the snow has fallen

looking to the right

our god, heaven cannot hold him

have you seen that man shuffle across Cold Mountain?

cherubim entered the weed

worshiping night and day

seeking out movement

and breastfulls of milk

and bales of hay

and layer upon layer

of seraphim burn

snow upon snow

clear and bright

long ago

fall down

before Cold Mountain

fall down and adore the ass

the goat the camel and the ox

and any archangels or angels

the cock the beaver and the fox

poor as he who travelling so swiftly

riding a ham so swift

the wise man, he couldn’t remember

he couldn’t return

he gave his heart

but forgot the road

he came here by

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