Mayday Violations

from Saturday, May5th of the year2007.

I am just back from two days in Providence where I was conducting my high school choir in a commissioned work. The Providence Journal wrote a little something about it. The kids who played/sang the piece (who ranged in age from 11 to 18) were great and really dedicated; they are all up on my grill on the Facebook. I also half-taught some English classes, which was pretty amazing ““ I brought in two essays from Barthes’s Empire of Signs about chopsticks and other Matters Japanese and people got really into it; the fact that a student had brought in a sort of nuclear-age sticky bun for communal eating made the whole point about chopsticks being instruments of Choice rather than Butchery was pretty exciting; the words “Orgy of Flavor” were definitely used, at that time, by somebody who later turned out to be the brother of a lovely girl the year below me ““ this is what happens when you go to a small school. I was in rapture! Let me also interject here that Barthes’s notion of choice viz. sequence is really provocative to me; he writes:

…instead of ingestion following a kind of mechanical sequence, in which one would be limited to swallowing little by little the parts of one and the same dish, the chopstick, designating what it selects (and thus selecting there and then this and not that), introduces into the use of food not an order but a caprice, a certain indolence: in any case, an intelligent and no longer mechanical operation.

Now that it’s May, I thought we could celebrate by potentially violating people’s copyright. The first is one of my favorite things in the world; you’ll see why in about two seconds:

Maypole from The Wicker Man soundtrack

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and the second is a violation of I suppose only the weird intellectual property rules that govern ecclesiastical webcast, which seems like pretty explicitly the jurisdiction of the mysteriously electric Holy Ghost to me, so, if you see any doves flapping around your head when you play this, tell them to come back on the 27th.

Nico Muhly
Sanctus & Benedictus from Bright Mass with Canons
Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, John Scott, Jeremy Bruns, the usual suspects.

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1 Comment

  • Nico, I Love those two pieces that you wrote for wheeler. Am I responding correctly? Love MOMMOM