Here are some pics and a vid from a couple of weeks ago. These were taken by Mark Weeks Photography.
Okay, here is the recording. I made it last night using my little Creative Zen MP3 player, then edited in Audacity (yes I’m a geek, at least to a degree).
If you are clever, from that link you can access three earlier recordings that document the composition process for the song. They are in varying degrees of off-the-cuffness. What I did was to turn on the recorder and make up the lyrics/melody as I went, sometimes going back to the beginning or middle to try it out in different ways.
The song is dedicated to all the stars out there. You know who you are.
I do quite frequently use the player to record things as I write them sometimes, and make recordings to listen to myself. This is the first time I’ve made a recording of my music publicly available, though.
I’m hoping to get some of the other songs recorded in reasonable enough shape to put them into a virtual ‘album’ as envisioned over a year ago. The title is Just Add Water – Songs of Love, Loss, and Reconstitution.
Just a string of non-linear thoughts about this song. Hope you like it.
This is a song I’ve been working on for about a month or so, my how time flies! It is inspired by all the stars I know. Readers will get the Thomas Pynchon reference (my thanks to S). Once I started working on the song, I saw and heard stars references everywhere.
Being me, I’m doing this as a record of the process, so I’m putting it into the blog while it is still subject to change but I think only small edits, nothing major. I’m working on some rough recordings of the songs, including this one, which I may link to this page. (okay, ready to make the leap and click publish).
Here are the words and chords:
A Hallowed Skein of Stars
By Mary Jacob
F7 E7 F7 E7
All the world is in pain. Everyone has the same
F7 E7 Am
Glazed look in your eyes, in your eyes.
C Dm Fmaj7 C
I’d give you a stream of stars, To put back in your eyes, back where they belong, where they belong.
I said I’d give you a stream of stars, To put back in your eyes where they belong.
I want you to wrap them around your head, Wrap them around your shoulders like a shawl.
I said, let them fall back into their places Let stars stream down your face.
I’d give you a breath of stars To warm you in the glassy night.
I’d give you a beam and a gleam and a dream and a team, A scream in a seething sea of stars.
Like a spark, like a sparkler light, You’re spitting out stars to light the night.
You light sparks from your fingertips, you light sparks from your eyes.
You’re made of stars, you’re made of stars, You’re gleaming in the night.
Look in the mirror, look in the sky, Look at the stars and look at your eyes.
You got stars in your eyes, stars in your toes, You got stars in your blood, stars in your bones,
Stars spinning out from your fingertips, You’ve got stars in your voice, you’ve got stars on your lips.
You’ve got stars in the path beneath your feet, stars in the eyes of the people you meet
You walk on stars, you sleep on stars, you’re swimming in stars, you’re dancing in a sea of stars.
You got stars in the sky; you got comets and the moon, To guide your boat as you sail on home.
You’ve got stars overhead, moon at your back, Sun about to rise as you sail on back.
Dm C Dm C Dm C
Now it’s time to dance in the sun. I said, Dance. Please dance.
Dm C Dm C Dm C
Take the stars and dance in the sun. Dance. Please dance.
Gm A Gm A
Em F#m Em F#m
All the world is in pain, all the world is like you,
Take that pain and turn it into lightning in the rain.
Take that pain and burn it into stars, lightning in the rain.
Take hold of this hallowed skein of stars
And glide yourself, glide yourself on home.
[guitar picking fade out]
W. S. Merwin is a brilliant and inspiring poet and talented translator.
Read his stuff.
See the interview/documentary with Bill Moyers on PBS here http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06262009/watch.html There are more stars there.