May 08, 2008

Travis John

And a healthy welcome to Mr Brains Aha!, newest contributer, specializing in Sports & Leisure. Just a few orange questions from the cards: How many stumps are there in a cricket wicket? What game does the New York Institute for the Investigation of Rolling Spheroids specialize in? What's a fruit machine? Find out soon, with compelling reports from Mr Aha! Sports & Leisure correspondent. His first report about soccer is right below.

I wanted to post some of my shape-note arrangements, but I'm having trouble converting Finale Notation .mus files into PDFs or JPEGs. Anyway, I've been writing &/or arranging some sacred folk choral music - The following recording is me singing all five parts, accompanied by a my Yamaha PSR-500M synth, to be used only to get an idea of the song & what it might sound like with a larger group. I apologize if a creepy quintet of my voice induces any heartburn or insomnia.

"Travis John" is an arrangement of a 2003 song by Kate Power, which I heard Tracy Grammer sing at the Freight & Salvage a few weeks ago (her version is on that myspace link). Power wrote the song from the point of view of a Portland neighbor of hers, a young man who died in Iraq in 2003, who she claimed came to her as a spirit to help her compose the song. Grammer sings it alongside several songs about war & passes out copies of the song to help spread it. My arrangement adds some Sacred Harp harmonies & rhythms, but a bit more square, dissonant & modal. I'll post a down-loadable copy of the score when I figure out how to do that.

Under a weeping willow tree, you planted roses.
There with my family, eternal ghost is.

I am a boy, full of promise, full of freedom.

Now the joy is dead & done, I am gone.

1 comment:

Brains said...

Fruit Machine? sounds like a bar in my neighborhood. I would've never thought that was you singing all five parts. Crazy.