4 minutes 28 seconds| Ectoplasma and Victorian Post-Mortem photography.
Classical rock (or what was later referred to as progressive rock) is an obvious influence on my musical taste, and these groups (principally Yes, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Gentle Giant, Procol Harum, and Jethro Tull) served as gateway musical experiences to later classical music, which informed my development in the later 70s. One piece that comes to mind is Procol Harum’s Fires Which Burn Brightly, from Grand Hotel, which is not to everyone’s taste, but it pushed my proper buttons. I have tried to emulate its imperial evocations and de Chirico coloring. Needless to say, the electric guitar is carried along in a haunted gale that echoes in the throaty flute and choir.
Time stamp when created: 8/31/09. In these earliest pieces, I was often swept up into the rapture of the writing, and it was like trying to hold the reins of a galloping wild horse to get the notes down into the staves. Resultantly, bits of atonality float about, or unrealized chords and unresolved cadences emerge in the gaps. The music may sound harsh where the piano or string track is isolated; and yet, urgency and a strange allure are at work. This creative process would be impossible to recreate faithfully due to the nature of these forces. I have little in my current practice to which I may compare these times.
Novel-in-Progress, excerpt 46| More of the dream:
Lowell turned from this frightful grouping to the hallway, where family voices came at him as from across a subduction zone: Fracturing continental plates busily rushed through an epoch. The son returned to the den and, justifying his haste in arriving there, saw dinner dishes cleared from the table. His mother and siblings were not present, but his father was talking to him, and seemed to have started this conversation before the son appeared in the doorway.
He was anxious about whatever his father had said, and was about to ask him to repeat his instructions when the doorbell rang; the two turned to face a closed door. This insubstantial wood frame door led to the living room, but somehow the doorbell was now situated on the other side of it, which meant that the exterior room had disappeared.
In that moment Ernie left the room, but not through the disputed door. The son would not, in his father’s leave-taking, submit to the bell’s summons, and withdrew down the same hallway from which he had presently emerged. When next the bell sounded, it was much further away, and did not follow him successfully into the toasty circumambience of the small house. Here the rumbling furnace closet stood guard over the bedroom shared with his brother.
Lowell reclined on the lower deck of their bunk bed, yet did not seek comfort in it. All the bedding under him was sown together, and the embroidered stitch used was too coarse and stiff to fade invisibly into a background of sleep. The mattress was similarly intrusive, and judged to be made of either cardboard or plywood. A question arose about its structural integrity should he take to it too casually.
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