Thursday, 29 January 2009
Wolf was roaming the forest immersed in the despair of loneliness.
Far away, as coming from heaven, an angelical singing reached his ears.
Wolf stood still, his soul pierced deeply, the song seemed to dissolve his inner pain in waves of delight.
Then Little Red Riding Hood appeared on the west bend of the path, it was the lovely girl who was singing and progressing through the path jumping first on one leg then on the other in a kind of childish and charming ballet.
Despite his being under the spell of the moment, Wolf could not stop his predator instincts and asked her:
"Are you alone, my child?"
The little girl had stopped startled by the sudden presence of Wolf but recovered swiftly.
"Good afternoon, Mr Wolf", she said civilly, and added:
"Oh, no Mr Wolf, sir, I am not alone!"
"And who are you with, child?" asked surprised Wolf looking around.
"With me, Mr Wolf, sir, with me!"
Fragment of "Little Red Riding Hood" from "Company of Wolves".
© 2009 Od Liam
Sunday, 25 January 2009
The room light dimmed slowly, it was bedtime.
–Grandpa, tell me a story, please, –whispered the child in a drowsy voice.
The old man looked at the child with half a smile drawn in her face and began:
–Once upon a time...
And the time stopped.
Fragment of "L'arrive" by Ehma (Emmanuel) from La plague de Blâne-est
© 2009 Od Liam.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
–You are a nerd!
Elf was busy editing some of my old thoughts into smarter ideas when he turned around and spat these word to my astonished self.
-What?, I replied as I usually did, without originality.
-You heard me!, he continue without mercy.
I felt the usual desire to squeeze his little neck, but controlled myself and asked him:
-Why do you think I am a nerd?
He let drop a small shred of a thought and replied:
-No, I do not think you are a nerd, you are one without my thinking!
-Ok, why? I tried to stop a new line of discussion which would have lost ourselves in a different argument.
- You see, he came again, you like old fashioned music, reading... reading!, of all the dull, boring things on the world, and writing things nobody cares about any more as that mumbo jumbo about love and romanticism! Where on earth can you find a romantic person nowadays? And you are out of character trying to impersonate one.
-Are you trying to insult me?, I asked a bit unnecessary.
-Oh! no, I am not trying to insult you, said the curmudgeon, I am insulting you out of smugness.
-Smugne..., now the desire to throat him was unbearable, the effort to keep mi mindfingers in my mindpockets left me mindless for a moment, then recovering I said between tight closed teeth:
- Will you elaborate, please?
- You see, he countered, what's that of "will you elaborate?", he moved his head from left to right producing an acceptable imitation of my mindvoice, can't you be a normal person and say something in the line of "How is that?"... and all that Opera thing... Whoever listen those bellowing fat ladies saying things nobody understands?
- Now look, I said in a very low voice, I was very near the edge to loose myself into a maze of gruesome acts concerning the head and body of this kinky small creature.
-Now, look, there are words in the world and they are there to be used, it is our business to know them and to make our vocabulary a better thing than the mere two hundred voices, and one thousand insulting epithets we usually employ... and there are no fat ladies bellowing anywhere, you small piece of a smaller than life shirt!!!
I was already shouting and my mindhands were mindfists, so after the last word I realized I was almost over the edge of using words I respect but prefer not to keep company with, so I closed my mindeyes and started singing "one elephant went out to play, upon a spider's web one day..." to calm myself, when I was on the seventh elephant I realized it was not working, so I changed gears and started with "Frère Jacques, frère Jacques, dormez vous? dormez vouz?" The effort to think French words made anger subside, inhaling deeply I finished in a more civilized voice:
-There are beautiful women like Dames Kiri te Kanawa and Joan Sutherland who delight us with their performance and wonderful voices making the words of the lyrics become an indistinct fluttering of butterflies in a "coloratura", you hear me?! I ended, ruining the
image I created with these three pedestrian last words.
He raised his head and looking the tip of his nose replied:
Oh, well! you are a lost case, and with that he returned to nitpicking my thoughts!
Just to make my point I asked myself to start in my CD player "Spira sul mare.." the sweet song where Cio-Cio-San, Madama Butterfly, sings her happiness to be engaged to Pinkerton and where a beautiful Renata Scotto shows her skill and the wonderful caress of her voice.
And everything was well again, swinging with the loving voice of "... la fanciulla più lieta del Giappone... venutta al richiamo d'amore" (the happiest lass in Japan... who came to the call of love) I returned to my usually placid mind.
Fragment of "Spira sul mare" from Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" by Renata Scotto.
© 2009 Od Liam.
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Music can help you to perform the difficult movement of walking in a new environment, no rat race, no need to be first. Unfortunately, not all music is suitable, the raucous kindled voices, the high pitched noises, the repeated beat with no purpose only adds to the irrational race I was talking above. I am not disqualifying this music, you are entitled to like it, I only say that from my standpoint only serve to the purpose of herding and helping to push forward the need to run fast toward nowhere, again this is from my perspective, I can accept that we humans are different enough as not to think alike.
Besides, to an untrained ear, I mean an ear not used to listen Opera not an “educated” ear, the human voice, the best musical instrument in the Universe, can be ugly. There are various pitches we must train our ear to differentiate before we can enjoy the thrill of music blended into voices.
Once you are lucky enough to have conquered with effort those first steps, you must try to learn what is happening on the stage, maybe most of it is a melodrama but so is life, too.
Why learn this?, simple put: because that is the only way to understand OPERA and the pathos in the characters.
Even if these steps seems difficult, the reward is the best thing that can happen to a person. As it is in real life, whatever you get without effort gives no reward or worse, we seem to acknowledge that the easy acquiring takes away value to the prize.
From passion strong feelings pour, which are diffusely cradled in the powerful arms of music and voice, if you can share the “pain” in Lucia when she has lost her reason broken by the sheer power of sorrow and despair, the words “Il dolce suono” (The sweet dream”) take a new and deep meaning that justify her actions before the “Scena de la follia” (Mad scene), the loving cadence of her voice accompanying the deranged thoughts of true love are movingly human in the inhuman madness that invaded her.
This cannot be explained; as sex and mysticism you must live them to understand their meaning, and to live sex, mysticism and feelings as those of Lucia you must make an effort which can leave you exhausted, even if totally satisfied. Your sentience as much as your body are depleted and at the same time replete with everything a human being can desire.
Maybe you want to tell me you feel like that after sex, mystic experience or any music concert but I can assure you we may be using the same words but when speaking about Opera they have not the same meaning or feelings!
A fragment of the "Mad Scene" from Donizetti's "Lucia de Lammermoor" recorded live 1954 by "la Divina" María Callas.
© 2009 Od Liam.
I do love Opera!
This seems a strange thing in these days and time. How many Opera lovers can you find in the several billions people who inhabit this, our hapless planet?
Our seal, I mean human beings in general, our seal seems to be the confused, mixed, blatant noises and the confused, mixed, blatant actions in growing speed: if you breath, you lose, if you blink, you are left behind, we must go, Go, GO! never mind grasping what is going on around us, no time for that! We must reach the future before it reaches us and becomes long past and use it just as a propeller for the next step into future.
When time overtakes us and we find we are not fit anymore for the athletic feats that filled all the time of our life we find our hands empty, maybe some of us reached the shores of the American Dream, but, and this is arguable, the only thing they have is wealth, poor and stupid wealth with no significance when the line of end is near.
Now, if you could stop and think a bit, lose a small part of the immense wealth you are pursuing since you learned to read the words “one dollar”, then there is hope to fulfill a rich experience in life…
Opera is not a popular music genre. It cannot be. Society as a gregarious group presents a difficult way of living, the bigger the group the greater the competition. This situation demands so much of an individual that any other requirement is to ask too much.
The need of music and lyrics that help people find a way to raise their thresholds on suffering and let them be lost in any kind of ecstasy, in rapturous delight; that separate them from the hard reality, IS a strong need, but that music must be undemanding, able to dull feelings into a kind of stupor that conceal the piercing pain of actuality.
Opera is just the opposite, it tells melodramatic stories, with tortured characters full of pathos and pain, the “real” reality, (except in what is known as “opera buffa“, that is, comic opera which are just a little part of the whole) but the music is the redeemer. When you accept the hurting feelings from those acting, the drama as normal since so is life too, and let music seeps into the tissue of your soul, then OPERA is the only way to set you free, to stir, to shake you into a magic world of bliss and joy without creating a fantasy world for a while nor dampening your human feelings.
Maybe this introduction makes you recoil from Opera or maybe it opens a small crevice of curiosity.
(to be continued)
You are listening to beautiful Dame Joan Sutherland performing a deliciously distressed Elena singing "Mercé diletti amici" from Verdi's "I Vespri Siciliani", just let the butterflies of her voice caress your soul...
© 2009 Od Liam.
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
"Hell does not exist!", said the agnostic.
"Then, what does pain exist for?" asked the philosopher.
Sequetia "Dies irae" from Mozart's "Requiem" performed by "Orchestra Scuola Orchestra", conducted by A. Bellaccini, and the choir "Coro Diapason", conducted by P. Ghezzo.
© 2009 Od Liam
I climbed the chestnut and observed without blinking the cobweb decorated with small beads of transparent dew full of changing iridescent reflections of light.
A few inches below me a small finch tossed off a new warble.
The scent of the forest filled the space around me.
The rugged bark of the tree designed variegated patterns on my skin.
I introduced a small leaf in my mouth and tasted the distinct, intrinsic flavor.
In few moments I enjoyed five universes that seemed infinite from my first six years of live...
A sentimental rendering of a fragment of Ceccini's Ave Maria by Sumi Jo.
© 2009 Od Liam.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Every morning, when you get up, come near a mirror, look closely to your image and say:
"I am the best, the only one, there is no other better than me"
If you can hold your gaze for more than fifteen seconds without
bursting out in a peal of laugh and guffaw, your self-esteem is in good health!
If you cannot, your humor is perfect!
"Yakety Sax" performed by Benny Hill.
© 2009 Od Liam.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
When would the desire of the everlasting hills be accomplished?!
Days go away as the hackneyed saying goes: sand between the fingers.
I am not complaining, it is fast, the passing of time I mean, but not fast enough for a light soul with immense wings. Things happen but they are not changing anything. Remember the old rule, change anything that let everything stay unchanged?
It is amazing how after eons human beings still keep their old practices of exploitation (such a blasting word!), indifference and hate towards their own species, what is worse, it seems as if there is no signal of change.
Even if all persons on the world (count me in, of course), I am being generous here but lets give us the benefit of the doubt, even if all persons on the world would agree that we are gentle, forgiving and with the heart full of good feeling to our neighbors, evil runs rampant on every place and nook on this miserable planet.
In an optimistic mood one can believe that tares, or better yet darnel, and wheat grow together but reality shows us that the scent of darnel fills all the corners of Earth.
I think we must endure and wait, but it is not easy. Mermaids' songs are stronger as time goes by, society follows paths far away from those mounds and glens we learned to call our own, and when the landscape changes so radically we start to ask: Are we right?, is it worth this solitude and this pain? But of course, when we come to remember we are a small boat in the grieving, dusky ocean of reality, the answer comes easily to mind: "this is how it is, there is no way around, we must accept solitude as our natural environment, no matter how noisy it is, it is all beside ourselves, never into us". We are in here but we do not belong here, not as a solid part of the party we live daily, only as a necessary accessory. So we can enjoy what there is to enjoy and endure whatever there is to endure.
Yeah, right! But it is still a hard bit to bite!
Oh! come on!!
A superb version of Lacrimosa from Mozart's immortal Requiem conducted by Herbert von Karajan
© 2009 Od Liam.