Daniel Goode

Composer & Performer

Tag: meredith monk

Offer to the Vatican: Critical Mass

I would like to offer to the Vatican at no charge, the lyrics to my 2007 musical composition, Critical Mass. Here they are:

CRITICAL MASS, parts I & II                 text by Daniel Goode

I.
A spector is haunting America, a spirit is haunting America, a spirit of secular joy, of peace and community, enough for all, a spirit for us to enjoy.
Non credo in deo, non credo.
Oo-hoo-hoo a-ha-ha oo-hoo-hoo a-ha hoo-hoo-hoo ha-ha-ha hoo-hoo-hoo ha-ha.
Non credo in deo, non credo, non credo.
Oo-hoo-hoo a-ha-ha oo-hoo-hoo a-ha hoo-hoo-hoo ha-ha-ha hoo-hoo-hoo ha-ha.
Non credo, non credo, non credo, non credo.
Hoo ha ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha Hoo ha. Non credo in deo, no, no, no!
“Credo in us.” Thank you, John Cage! Credo in us!
A spector is haunting America. “[A]merica.” Thank-a-you, Lenny Bernstein. A spirit is haunting America, a spirit of secular joy. Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, joy, j, j, j, j, j, j, j, j, j, j, j, j, oooo! a spirit of sexual joy, sec, sec, sec, sec, sec, se-cuh-la, se-cuh-la, se-cuh-la, se-cuh-la, oooo!
Non credo in deo, non credo. No, no, no!
A mass for us, a mass for all, for us, for peace and community, planet, our home. Non credo, non credo in deo, non credo, non credo in deo. O, O. Let’s meditate. Open the gate! For all, for us. Thank you, Pauline.* Sing any note, open your throat! Ah… Ah… Ah… Say any thing, then make it sing! Open your throat! Sing any note. Ah……

II.
We believe in We believe in We believe in We—oo-ahh-ee-oo-ahh. Non non non credo-do-do-do-do-do, non credo in deo—ahh-oo-ee-ahh-oo.
We believe in We believe in We believe in We.
The suffering’s real, but death you don’t feel, shed your fears, then your tears, we are here, so are you, dear.
They say they speak in tongues, then why do they support the guns? We’ll show them where we put our tongues: aye-ee, ee-oh, you-ee, oh-aye, oh-wah, oh wah, ya-you, wah-ee.
It’s guns that kill people, not people, not people, it’s guns that kill people plus people plus people, oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo. People plus people plus guns that kill people, it’s people plus people plus bombs that kill people. It’s guns, put them down!—oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo. Thank you, Meredith Monk, oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo.
Now it’s your turn to thank some one, come on! come on! come on! come on! Thank some one! Thank some one!—oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo. Thank some one on any note…
The suffering’s real, but death you don’t feel, shed your fears, then your tears, we are here, so are you, dear.
Endlessness forever is all we can divine. If that’s divine, that’s fine.
We are alone with each other, there is no other. If that’s divine, that’s fine.
Love, then experience, then: make the world a better place to live. That’s where we live and thrive.
There is no proof that any one has ever gone to heaven or hell.
Faith, they say, is proof, but to them we say: oh poof, oh poof! Oh poof, oh poof, poof poof poof poof poof poof poof poof poof poof poof.
Air is divine. In and out, breath! Air is divine, is fine, is fine.
Let in the thought of what is sought. Hm, hm, hm, hm.
Bring on the dance, let in the trance-ce-ce-ce-ce. Bring on the dance, let in the trance-ce-ce-ce-ce. Let in the trance, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce. ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce, ce.

* “Pauline” is composer, Pauline Oliveros who composed Sonic Meditations
c 2005 by Daniel Goode

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Pina Bausch’s “Kontakthof”- a reaction not a review

Too long by a lot, yet magisterial, a spectacle, with twenty-three dancers on stage much of the time. Women in ballroom solid color dresses danced either in heels or barefoot. Men were in ugly charcoal black or grey suits over white shirts with ties. Music hall, tango-ish numbers on scratchy low fidelity recordings, in German, dancers often speaking, in English, sometimes screaming, insufferable repetition of “darling” by one, overuse of the same recorded songs became finally a good move, supplemented by the “Third Man” theme, and a music-hall kind of recording of Sibelius’s “Valse Triste.”

Yes, “kontakt,” lots of it: from curiosity, sensuality, hostility, mixtures of all, sometimes very fast transitions from one to the other, very heterosexual. Sense of discomfort, awkwardness was an affect of the dancers, a theme of the choreographer. A lot of this piece appeared in Wim Wenders wonderful documentary of the Tanztheater of Pina Bausch (who died in 2009). Typical of the company’s easy-going approach to time was a line-up of all the dancers sitting in a row facing the audience each telling some personal story softly in their own language while another took the mic from to each one of all twenty-two, letting each story fall where it may in the middle. “Heavenly length?” An issue worth pursuing. In spite of the speaking, singing, screaming, no attempt to have a sculpted vocal theater like Meredith Monk’s.

Big age range, it seems, in the dancers. Lots over forty and beyond.

The appropriation of everyday movements into dance is familiar to us, and I’m guessing this piece is from the ’70’s or so when this was happening here too. It must have been shocking to a staid German audience of the time. Yet even now, some images were frightening: a female dancer being felt, felt up, slapped, lifted, manipulated by a large group of the men dancers. With my binoculars I was able to see that it was not a smile on her face, but an open-mouthed crying. Not funny. Yet a lot of the piece was mildly parodistic, and just plain pleasant. Especially the large rings of dancers walking in time over the generous whole of the Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM.

Thumbnail Review #42

SONiC Festival: Does “uptown” and “downtown” still exist as a stylistic?

Son!c
July 26th, 2012

SON!C – get it! “Sounds of a new century” (where everyone is under 40). Great
theme: youth, always a winner. October 14-22nd, 2011 with something like 14 concerts and over a hundred composers (all young!). Otto Luening used to say that when he started out, a young composer was someone in his (yes “his”) 50’s. Otto was young in his 70’s). So are we going backwards or forwards, please?

Four young men in black, the Jack (quartet), from Eastman to NY, play best: XenAK (-is). “Did all they played sound like XenAK? —what a CRACK!” “Can’t be XenAK if it’s him we lack.” Alex Mincek’s was my favorite of lack-XenAK. Or was it grey not black wore by the Jack? Too dark to read their names (even in the light I couldn’t find their names, much less their aims). But a friendly, humble virtuosity was on offer, fine! But then, betrayed by the sound engineers: how perverse that only their loudest sounds got amplified. The soft, wispy sul ponticellos and harmonics shifted the aural perspective back to them on stage, then a loud sound, and you were looking, once more, at the loudspeaker to their left. Ouch. Said a musician in the audience to me: “they play so many more notes per… than…[blah, blah, something or other], with not a bit of sweat on them.” Could this be the aesthetic aim of “a new century?”

Some nice choral music followed the Jack. Beautiful performances by the New York Virtuoso Singers conducted by Harold Rosenbaum. In one piece the sopranos and the basses were at the back of the stage, left and right, while the altos and tenors were front center. Nice idea, but why not go further, like Meredith Monk and actually have them change places at different times, even sing while moving.

Douglas Repetto’s robots let down colored three-dimensional looking tubes while several members of Talea, performed a graphic score by Victor Adan. Did the music control the robots? No way to know from the program notes. The final effect was like the drip paintings of abstract colorist, Morris Louis, though less messy.

SONiC Festival: Does “uptown” and “downtown” still exist as a stylistic?

Any large curatorial slice of the total pie is always going to be criticized in some aspect or other. Since I only went to two events, I can’t really be a good outside observer. Alex Ross (who reviewed the festival in the New Yorker) may have, or maybe I was the one who noticed that the choices seemed conservative. As if, even through the eclectic and catholic largeness of the field which obscures the “uptown-downtown” stylistic divide of the past, still the music was very much a front and center stand up and wow-em chamber music. The odd, the spiritually quiet, the non-virtuosic and contemplative kind of music, the contextually different, the political, were all categories I thought were missing. That’s what made me feel that the divide between “uptown” and “downtown” still exists. And EVERYTHING is now amplified (a horrible contemporary performance practice steam-rollered by Bang On A Can—when they did my 15-person Tunnel-Funnel, I insisted on all-acoustic, and darned if it didn’t sound “too soft” because our ears had been pinned back by all the previous amplified chamber music). Thumbnail review.