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


singing


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