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In Loving Memory - Phil's Rambling Rants
January 11th, 2007
10:34 am

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In Loving Memory
In honor of Dave, I resolve to add some serious poetry (not set to music) to my performance repertoire. I already have a couple of funny poems that I do, but not serious.

I will start with Noyes' "The Barrel-Organ"; though it is too long to do very often, it's now one of my favorite poems, and I would never have connected with it without Dave's performance of it. Even if I'd come across it in a book, I don't think it would have resonated just sitting on the page. Unless I know I won't be able to get through it without choking up, I will do it at Cap and at FKO, in Dave's memory, and anyone who thinks it's too long can bite me. After that, whether I do it rarely or frequently will depend on how well it is received.

I'll also work on a couple of Dave's own poems: Madison's Mourning and Quad Drill. I find Quad Drill a little more awkward reading the text than it is in my memory; does anyone have a recording of Dave reading it that I could have to try to pick up how he made it come out so smooth?

I don't want to make spoken poetry dominant in filk circles, but I think one of the gifts Dave gave us was to show us that they are a fine flavoring for our musical feast, and I don't want to lose that. What do you all think?

Current Mood: sadsad
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From:exapno
Date:January 11th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
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I think it's a WONDERFUL idea :)
Thank you - looking forward to hearing them at Cap
From:markiv1111
Date:January 11th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)

Poetry

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I think an occasional poem at an open filk is a wonderful idea. Note that Tom Digby (idea_fairy), who at one point was a fan guest of honor at a Minicon and came back on his own nickel numerous times afterwards, routinely read poetry at Minicon circles and it was very much appreciated. So this is a very good idea!

By the way, I finally picked up the exotic cat calendar from where it had been (on top of the piano at a place where a Christmas caroling party had been held, about three weeks ago) and really, really like it, very much including the one photo that's yours. Re the otherr photographer, Stephen McCloud: Is he another EFRC volunteer or a hired hand? And do you know him?

Nate B.
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From:tigertoy
Date:January 11th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Poetry

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Stephen is a long-term volunteer; he's been doing their photography for longer than I've been a supporter. I don't know him really well, but we talk regularly.
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From:peteralway
Date:January 11th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
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Quad Drill is a fun one. I heard Dave do it enough that I can pretty much remember the rhythms for most of it
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From:singlemaltsilk
Date:January 11th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
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I think it's a lovely idea, Tigertoy :)
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From:andpuff
Date:January 11th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
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I think it's a great idea in general and a fine idea that you're working on a couple of Dave's poems in specific.

(When I think of Quad Drill, I can hear Dave's voice saying "Practise, practise, practise!")
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From:tigertoy
Date:January 11th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
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<snark>Except that Dave was American, so his voice said "Practice, practice, practice"</snark>
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From:andpuff
Date:January 11th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
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:P~~~~~~~
From:gclectic
Date:January 12th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
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I, for one, welcome both poetry and storytelling in the circle under exactly the same terms I welcome singing: they're great as long as you realize they are performance pieces and polish your performance *before* you enter the circle. Where I have problems with them are when people say "I heard this story once and think I can remember how it goes" or "I just saw this poem in a book, so I'm going to read it to you". I also, of course, object when the performer doesn't know (or care) that they are entering into a piece that is 25 minutes long and only 2 minutes interesting. (I don't, BTW, insist that a story-teller be Anna Russel any more than I insist that a singer be Pavarotti. I just appreciate a good-faith effort to reach your potential.)

Dave, of course, understood this and was consistently courteous, as are many other fine performers who periodically pull out poems and stories. The only difficulty I have personally encountered is that it is a bit more difficult to strum out a chorus beforehand to capture the audience's attention.
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From:tigertoy
Date:January 12th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
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I've had plenty of experience of trying to get in when I was trying to do an a capella song over the years, since I like a few songs that I either haven't worked up an accompaniment for or feel are better without any.

You're certainly spot on about being familiar enough with a poem or story to actually perform it, rather than stumbling through reading it.

By the way, do I know you? (You're welcome to read and comment even if I don't, but I am curious.)
From:gclectic
Date:January 12th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
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I don't actually recall if we've met face-to-face. I'm often seen wandering the halls of Ohio or East coast cons with a large Irish harp, so if you've tripped over one of those recently, it may have been mine. I see you a lot on Tom Smith's blog, and stumbled across this entry as I was surfing all the memorials for Dave. (I have many happy memories of time spent in con-suites chatting with Dave, as well as sharing songs, poems and instrumentals with him in and out of the circle. Thus far, I've had little to add to everyone else's tributes, but hope to have a small song in his honor at this weekend's Pittsburgh house-filk.)
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From:tigertoy
Date:January 13th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
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Got it. We've talked briefly at several OVFFs, though I doubt we've been formally introduced.
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From:peteralway
Date:January 15th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
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I find Quad Drill a little more awkward reading the text than it is in my memory; does anyone have a recording of Dave reading it that I could have to try to pick up how he made it come out so smooth?

I don't have a recording, but tonight I was perusing Dave's filk book, and lo and behold I found a copy of Quad Drill that Dave had printed out with the emphasized syllables in all caps. That strikes me as exactly what you'd need. If you have a number, I could fax it to you. Email me at petealway (at) aol (dot) com.
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