Well, not quite. Mickey Mouse seems a little the worse for wear, but I couldn’t resist including him. The collage pays homage to John Ashbery’s poem “Listening Tour” in the volume Breezeway. The title is quintessential Ashbery, reflecting his own lifelong “listening tour” of vernacular quirks he might put to use. The poem dips into a past I recognize, recalling an argument about network news channels that wouldn’t occur today. The poem then offers two delectable “turns” and closes with a slangy shrug.
I haven’t captured my visual response to the poem to my satisfaction (will I ever for any poem?), but as perfection is the enemy of, if not the good, at least the impulse to make, I offer it up to view. In the course of it I may have learned something, by trial and error (primarily error), about the trickiness of glue, proper balancing of elements, and difficulty of obtaining clean edges, all of which converged to confound me, particularly, in the lower right section of this collage.
Listen to John Ashbery read Listening Tour here.
Listening List (what I happened to be listening to at the moment)
Maurice Ravel, Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite (1908-1910; orchestrated 1911)
On Spotify: Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung
Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony was chosen as the Monthly Orchestral Selection in BBC Music Magazine’s August Issue (David Nice, reviewer), so I thought I’d see what the same forces accomplish with the Ravel. My verdict? Lovely, delicate, all I might wish for in a performance of this piece.
On YouTube: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic/Edward Gardner
Program notes about the Suite may be found here.
The five pieces in the Suite are listed below, together with timestamps for the YouTube video.
0:00 Pavane de la belle au bois dormant (Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty)
1:38 Petit Poucet (Tom Thumb)
5:25 Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes (Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas)
9:10 Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête (Conversations of Beauty and the Beast)
14:15 Le jardin féerique (The Enchanted Garden)
Credits: The text in the collage is from Ashbery’s “Listening Tour.” The image and underlying collage, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.