Performance: Kairos: A Consort of Singers, under the direction of Dr. Edward Lundergan, Artistic Director
The three songs in Elixirs are based on poems from two books, The Book of Nine Elixirs and The Earthworm Jar, by David Appelbaum, a poet and philosopher living in New Paltz. A reviewer has described his work as “natural surrealism…claiming the territory between the observer’s consciousness and another reality.” David’s poems are meditative and evocative, sometimes humorous, subtle yet often quite shocking. I cannot claim to truly ‘understand’ these poems, yet they speak to me intuitively. I hope that my musical settings do them justice.
The Earthworm Jar evokes a child’s frightful memories of carrying slops down the dark stairs into the cellar. Conjuring up bizarre images of an old man lovingly covering the earthworms with “leftovers fit for a king” and a dreadful dream of suffocation, the piece ends with the faint heartbeats of the worms themselves.
Love Song celebrates the joy and warmth of remembered love; the climax of the poem is passionate nearly to the point of eroticism. My musical rendition attempts to evoke laughter, warmth and the sensuality of entwined lovers.
Purpose of a Cat is a light-hearted treatment of the poet’s description of the cat’s need to “crawl under my skin.” The original poem juxtaposes dark images with flashes of humor; I hope to achieve the same mix in my jazzy “ditty.”