composing myself and some links


I’m working on a new composition. It’s requiring researching dozens of Negro Spirituals. I ordered what I hope is a copy of one the earliest collections of them.

Slave Songs of the United States: The Classic 1867 Anthology ...

My friend, Rhonda, asked me to write a trumpet/organ piece. At first, I was researching folk songs in Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads.

Library Exhibits :: Bronson, Bertrand H. Traditional Tunes of the ...

Then I realized that I wanted to use Negro Spirituals instead of fishing around in the 6 volume collection of Child Ballad tunes I have.

I pulled all my collections of spirituals and began considering versions of melodies I love. I even found some new ones.

At this point, I’m hoping I can sort of channel Charles Ives and switch from his Beethovian abstract treatment to something more like a neo classical concerto treatment with motives and melodies of African American Spirituals intertwined.

I hope I don’t jinx my work by blogging about it. But not very many people are stopping by these days on my blog and I don’t think it’s going to do that for me. I’m approaching this work much more systematically than anything I have written in a while.

Watching what might be a bit of awakening around racism in my country helps me see that I would like to make some art around that idea.

Stony the Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: 9780525559559 ...

Plus my copy of Gates’ Stony the Road came in the mail last night. I’m more than three quarters done reading the ebook. I also had a library copy for a while and like many of Gates’ books, it is a beautiful book.

I’m using up valuable reading and practicing time so here are some links and I’m outta here.

Banjara by Rajiv Mohabir | Poetry Magazine

I’m working my way through the June issue of poetry. This is a long more difficult poem, but I like it.

“George Floyd,” by Terrance Hayes | The New Yorker

Speaking of poetry, the new New Yorker has two salient and wonderful poems in it.

“Pigeon and Hawk,” by Marilyn Nelson | The New Yorker

Thank you to poetry editor, Kevin Young, for making sure the poetry in this issue is not disconnected from American life as it is happening around us.

The History of the “Riot” Report | The New Yorker

Also in that issue is this article by Jill LePore. She convincingly arggs that what we don’t need is another report.

Air Force Sergeant With Ties to Extremist Group Charged in Federal Officer’s Death

Never heard of this right wing white nationalist group. Madness.

Music Theory’s White Racial Frame – Confronting Racism and Sexism in American Music Theory

My buddy, Jordan, put this up on Facebook. I have only looked at it cursorily but I am very curious how Music Theory manages a racial fram.

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