Archive for May, 2016

Art Song Video Premiere!

Friday, May 20th, 2016
David Clay Mettens and Mary Kaiser

David Clay Mettens and Mary Kaiser

Don Bogen: With its score for alto flute, bass clarinet, viola, cello, piano, percussion, and soprano, David Clay Mettens’s setting of Mary Kaiser’s “He Dreams a Mother” in our Summer 2016 issue (just released) is one of the most intricate and haunting pieces in our series of art songs. It’s also the first for which we have a video of the premiere. “Hypnotic” is a word the composer uses several times in the score, and it certainly fits what happened on stage this past April. To watch, click here.

Be sure to check out the subtle performance by All of the Above, with soprano Jilian McGreen and all those varied instruments bringing out the calm yet deeply strange vision in Mary’s poem. The ending is particularly striking. Thanks and congratulations go to the composer, the poet, and the ensemble.

The poem and full score are in the issue.  You can find the other four settings we’ve commissioned to date in the art-song category of the blog.

Enjoy!

Spring/Summer Issue Has Shipped!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

13.1 is here! We just shipped the last, lovely issue, so if you’re a subscriber, expect . . . the expected. Hope you enjoy the wonderful work therein by the likes of Steven Sherrill, Cary Holladay, Dan Bellm, Barbara Hamby, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Beth Ann Fennelly, Brock Clarke, and other literary, er, leviathans? No. Lemurs? No. Llamas? Yes! Many more literary llamas. Not to mention the winners of (in poetry and prose) of the Robert and Adele Schiff Awards—Jaime Brunton and Robert Long Foreman. Have fun, readers!

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Why We Like It: “And We’ll See You Tomorrow Night”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

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Julialicia Case: I’m not much of a baseball person, or even a sports person, so when I came across Dave Mondy’s essay “And We’ll See You Tomorrow Night,” I did not expect to be swept away. After all, the piece focuses on the “Best Baseball Game,” a twelve-inning matchup between the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox in June 2006. It seemed like a topic for a very specific audience. Mondy, though, like any good storyteller, begins early on with an engaging hook: “[This is] the ultimate story for any fan—the story of how Andrew, Allan and I actually influenced who won the Best Baseball Game.”

 

Much more than a sports essay, “And We’ll See You Tomorrow Night” is told in a series of small sections numbered consecutively, such as “1 (bottom),” and “10 (top)”—each section coinciding with the inning being described. Mondy covers a variety of subjects, giving us facts about famous baseball players, reflections on his relationship with his friend Andrew, and quotations from David Mamet’s Three Uses of the Knife, a book on the craft of playwriting—and though these topics are diverse, the careful structure and varied approach give the sense that something greater is going on. At one point, for example, Mondy discusses “Elysian Fields: the name of a park in Hoboken, New Jersey, that was the site of the first baseball game in 1846” but goes on to remind us that “Elysian Fields was the afterlife home of Greek heroes. . . . These would be the less obvious connections between the Elysian Fields and baseball: Heroes and Theater.”

 

Though the piece is filled with interesting tidbits about baseball, Mondy constantly alludes to things that baseball and storytelling have in common, as well as the ways that sports and stories play a crucial part in the human experience: “What I mean is that, though it is terribly self-centered, it’s hard not to view oneself as the center of the world . . . But sometimes, getting wrapped up in something outside oneself, something like a great baseball game, can take us out of our myopic minds.” While it’s true this is an essay about one person’s experience at a baseball game, it is also an essay about the ephemerality of friendship, the desire to influence something greater than ourselves, the sense of loss that often accompanies memory. Mondy seems to suggest that anyone can be a baseball person. In fact, we are all baseball people, even if we don’t know it yet.