Another low-entry day, children. But the nice thing about this job is, I'm working my way through my cd collection.
np -- Lanterna, that title-less/eponymous first release
That's not the cover of the one I have.
Want to know more? Check out The Moon Seven Times and friends discography, including Lanterna. See the cover of my version of the cd, or order your own, at Parasol. Cheaper'n Amazon, and that whole supporting indies thing the kids are into these days.
There's a lot of competition for that title, you know.
And they're looking to hire a director for 2004, if anyone is in the market for such a thing, and either lives in or is willing to relocate to Shampoo-Banana:
Professional training and experience in choral conducting.
Ability to arrange and transcribe.
Familiarity with a wide variety of musical styles in folk and classical traditions.
Affinity for working with feminists and lesbians.
Strong leadership, charisma, and interpersonal skills.
Dedication to achievement of artistic excellence by amateur performers.
Fondness for corn and soy fields.
Make a note of that last one. Underlined.
Oh, and the title of the cd? From one of the tracks, Hotaru Koi:
One of our singers, while on a hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains, met up with some Japanese travelers and was thrilled to be able to sing this popular children's round with them under the night sky.
Over there, the water is bitter.
Over here, the water is sweet.
Trans., Tsutomu Ota
Yes, I tend to geek out over the group. Shut up, they're good.
Update: Oh, right, they also do a wicked cover of Strange Fruit:
Lewis Allan was the pseudonym of Abe Meerpopl, a socialist activist and the adoptive father of the children of the Rosenbergs after their execution for treason. None of Allen's labor and protest music approaches the poignancy of this song, a powerful metaphor for the racist lynchings of Black men in the Southern states. Written for and first recorded by Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit" was subsequently recorded by the legendary singers Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone. In our generation, Faith Nolan has continued this song's performance history by Black women who, in the tradition of Simone, sing against racism. Once, reading a paper from the Queer community of Los Angeles, I saw an advertisement for a performance by a troupe of Black women calling themselves "Strange Fruit." This song's origins in the countercultures of political, sexual, and racial 'deviance' seem to be continually reflected by the singularity of the artists who are drawn to it.
"Strange Fruit" is typically performed by soloist and jazz trio. This arrangement for a Capella chorus combines the traditional jazz harmonies that evoke the song's original style with unexpected dissonances more illustrative of the poems emotion.
She's also performed with Urban Bush Women, and "is currently recording for Bobby McFerrin's latest project."
Plus, "[h]er dissertation, Whose Music Is It, Anyway? Black Vocal Ensemble Traditions and the Feminist Choral Movement: Performance Practice as Politics, explores racial and gender identity formation through choral performance and examines the effects of racism on White and Black performers' beliefs about authenticity, ownership, and theft of oral-tradition materials."
Bloody typical. Why are the good ones always gay?
That, and somehow I think that "Hi, I'd really like to read your dissertation" is not up there in the top ten list of pick-up lines. Even when it's sincere.
When then-UI music student Kristina Boerger set out to organize a lesbian/feminist choral ensemble in 1991, she drew women in with a hand-lettered poster announcing that the choir was open to any woman who could sing. Or, as Amasong member Raeann Dossett recalls in a new film about the choir, the sign indicated that “if you can carry a tune in a bucket, you’re welcome.”
More than a decade later, the collective voices of Amasong – self-described as “Champaign-Urbana’s premier lesbian/feminist chorus” – have hit more high notes than Boerger could ever have imagined possible. Amasong’s evolution – from an amateur ensemble with shared sexual and political identities to an award-winning choir and community staple – is captured in UI journalism professor Jay Rosenstein’s documentary “The Amasong Chorus: Singing Out.”
Rosenstein said the 53-minute film, which he produced, directed, wrote and edited, has played to “packed and sold-out” crowds – and even received a standing ovation – at lesbian and gay film festivals in Australia, Italy and San Francisco. Amasong’s loyal hometown following will finally get the chance to see the film when it receives its local premier at 9 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Beckman Institute auditorium. The event, part of the campus’s yearlong Brown v. Board Jubilee Commemoration, is free and open to the public.
[. . .] Unlike past documentaries Rosenstein has produced, such as “In Whose Honor?”, which explored the Chief Illiniwek controversy at Illinois, the Amasong film was created with the sole goal of profiling the ensemble and Boerger, its dynamic founder-director. “It’s not meant to be persuasive,” Rosenstein said; instead, it “mirrors the way Amasong has been integrated into the community.”
Thought I recognized the director's name; still haven't got 'round to seeing In Whose Honor? due to my extreme suckage.
And so much for that low-entry promise to myself. Unless one long-ass entry doesn't count. . .