Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Revue" Cantata: Personal Preliminaries

Of the six poems comprising Wallace Stevens' "Revue" published in the July 1922 edition of The Dial, it appears that only one poem, "Bantams in the Pine-Woods," has an author-read recording (two different recordings, actually) on PennSound.  Fortunately, there are enough author-read recordings of Stevens' other work to get his metrical tendencies while he read his work aloud.  This is helpful, because getting these metrical tendencies from the page won't be enough.  If you give two poets the same poem and ask each to read it aloud, you'll get two often very different metrical interpretations.  The differences in metrical interpretations especially seem to occur in interpretations of the temporal length of the pauses, both inside the line and in between the lines.  It's not that I think that we will necessarily marry ourselves to Wallace's read-aloud metrical tendencies, it's just that some kind of fidelity through familiarity seems in order.

Buder Branch had the Literary Lives for Stevens.  I checked it out today and I'm about a third of the way through it.

In a box somewhere in the basement is a dog-eared copy of The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens.  I'll dig around for it tomorrow.

This won't be anywhere near as physically, logistically or technically demanding as scoring and accompanying a 100-minute feature film.  This kind of thing is very new for us, so it'll be creatively demanding.  I hope that I can get my part of it right.

The premiere will be Thursday, September 13th at the Pulitzer.

My plan is to keep an online diary of sorts about how it's coming along with regard to my part of it here on the ol' blog.

'Til next time ...

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