from Sunday, January4th of the year2009.
Oh, awesome! The Mail in England has a headline, “Boozy Britain’s bloody New Year: A 999 call every seven seconds in alcohol-induced mayhem.” And! An amazingly strange article with genius pictures. Look at this:
Their caption is, “Officers stop and question a drunken male about his facial injuries in Newcastle.” His hair is sort of perfection, and I am really feeling his grey shirt. How great is this:
Almost Certainly. Right before Christmas, I had a piece played and sung in the Rótunda of the Guggenheim Museum: a new Christmas carol setting two texts: Senex Puerum Portabat and Hodie Christus Natus Est. A live recording (complete with coughing and a fire alarm, and too much time at the end) is below.
Vox Vocal Ensemble & the Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble, George Steel, Conductor
Live Recording 12/21/08
Text & Translation
Senex puerum portabat:
puer autem senem regebat:
quem virgo peperit,
et post partum virgo permansit:
ipsum quem genuit, adoravit.
Hodie Christus natus est:
Hodie Salvator apparuit:
Hodie in terra canunt Angeli,
Hodie exsultant justi, dicentes:
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
An old man carried the child,
yet the child ruled the old man.
Him whom the virgin had borne
– after which she remained for ever a virgin –
she herself worshipped.
Today Christ is born:
Today the Savior appeared:
Today on Earth the Angels sing,
Today the righteous rejoice, saying:
Glory to God in the highest.
My basic scheme was that the first part (Senex Puerum Portabat) was a series of pulses anchoring the texture, and then at the second part, we encounter an ecstatic brass band which then explodes into free-form speaking-in-tongues at “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” I like Christmas music very much, although I’m somewhat saddened that a lot of the standards are Really Majestic (O Come All Ye Faithful) or Really Still (Silent Night ““ more on this in a second). There is an ecstatic mania about Christmas too that you get in some Sweenlinck but not really ever in audience participatory-settings. It would be unseemly, maybe, to have a whole church filled with people doing some (highly controlled!) babbling. In any event, I think Silent Night is just about the worst thing that ever happened, or, at least, singing along to it is. The worst part is:
It’s too high for people! It’s out of control! And to try to do it quietly ““ it’s just not gwine happen. This moment always reminds me of that moment in Angels in America where Belize says:
The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me.
Indeed. Also this is pretty amazing:
In entirely other news, Sasha Frere Jones blogpost or whatever this thing is reads like “me me me me I I I I me me me me I I I I my my my my.” I’ve decided that he reminds me of those seagulls from Finding Nemo who can only say “mine” all the time.
I want somebody to explain this poster from my neighborhood to me: