a light day for jupe


Image result for leadbelly by tyehimba jess

Craig brought me a box of used music I purchased from him and I received my copy of Leadbelly by Tyehimba Jess in the mail as well.  I read several pages in the latter this morning and it unsurprisingly amazing.

It’s a series of poems that postulate the wonderful Leadbelly. I especially like the ending of the poem speaking in the voice of the city street in Shreveport, Louisiana, “fannin street signifies.” I think Jess is saying that experiencing the city as a youngster implants music in Leadbelly.

i cut a hole in his heart,
nail in a dozen metronomes,
each timed to the rhythm
of a newfound sinner’s sigh.

i line his throat with a church-
load of moonlight, smear blues’ afterbirth
of bible and baal across his skull.

i stuff his ears with 1000 bales
of barrelhouse folklore,
plant his tongue in the cunt of song

from “fannin street signifies” by Tyehimba Jess


I saved my book and my box of music for after a day of church stuff. I went over and grabbed a few minutes on the organ before Craig arrived. Martin Pasi showed up before Craig. I asked him about the registration on “Mental Floss.” He approved. Then when I told him it was the piece that I had written for him and Jen, he told me he liked it. I replied that I liked it too, but he and I may be the only ones who do.

Now I have to include Rhonda’s nice comments on yesterday’s blog where she says that she likes it as well. It feels a bit like I was fishing for compliments in my blog I guess. Of course that’s not what I think is going on, but what do I know? I certainly didn’t ask Pasi what he thought.

Craig showed up with my box of music in hand. Jen and Eileen joined us for some spirited talk about the organ. Then Craig, Martin, Eileen and I went off to have lunch together (Jen was busy). After lunch Craig spent some time on the organ. I went off and treadmilled. Craig had arranged to meet Chris Dekker, a doctoral candidate at Notre Dame, at 2 PM. I returned around 2:30, chatted with Mary Miller about the program for tonight, asked Craig’s opinion on the listing of pieces. He took the quotes off the titles. I guess I’ve been thinking of titles of poems and short stories as needing quotes and generalized that on to music. At any rate, I figure Craig knows the deal and we went with his recommendations on how to title all the music.

The program (as the recital itself) is more under the guidance of my boss, Rev Jen. I feel this is appropriate because in my mind the organ project really is her baby. She knows I’m conflicted about the formality of this evening. I probably would have organized it a bit different but am not sure how. I am so bored with the academic approach to concerts and the way so many of them play music for people and seeming to disregard the realities I experience in our time. However, as Rhonda has pointed out to me this evening is a solid representation of the variety of the performers involved. I concur.

I asked Craig and Chris to sign the Pasi Guest Book. As I left to go practice, Craig told me to be kind to myself. That was a lovely little thing for him to say.

Ever since speaking with Rhonda on Monday I have been attempting to strengthen the way I play the ending of my piece. I have played the weak spots I discovered under Rhonda’s eyes on Monday one hundred billion times since then. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But I was kind to myself in my rehearsal and feel like I have done solid prep for this evening. I want to get one more session in today but know that (except for the weak spots in my piece) I am as prepared as I want to be.

Huw was due to come by around 4 PM or so. I didn’t wait for him but did ask Craig to leave the door open for him. I also put the Guest Book on the music rack with a note asking Huw to sign it.

I came home and not too long thereafter Martin and his wife, Jen, dropped by to look at Eileen’s looms and talk with her. Eileen has remarked to me that she wishes we had people like Martin and Jen (and Marcus) around to chat with. It was a delight for me to watch how much she enjoyed talking to Martin and Jen. As they left, since I knew Martin planned to go over and tinker with the organ a bit, I asked him to lock up after Huw.

I left my glasses at church but could not bring myself to go back so I need to go look for them today.

It’s a light day for me. This is often the case for me as I approach a performance like this. By the time it rolls around if I’m not ready there’s not too much I can do at the last moment other than live through the whole deal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.