Image

She, transparent to the sun (finished)



'She, transparent to the sun,' 8.5" x 11", conte, chalk, pastel, art pen on Pentalic neutral pH 25% cotton 130 lb drawing paper.

This drawing is finished. The poem written into the drawing was recorded over a mix of sounds, with a slight theatrical flavour. Both the drawing and the poem refer to something specific. Do you see it?


direct link: She, transparent to the sun.

___

 brendaclews.com
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The real story of recording 'She, transparent to the sun'

Ok. Truth is this 'little' 1:33min recording took most of the day. I hit Record and said the short poem a few times and nothing was recorded but a blank line. Plugging and unplugging things, resets and upsets, hours went by as I struggled with my system made of old and newer components. Checking and re-checking System Preferences, everything always looks fine, even the Mac's internal microphone worked, but not dear old GarageBand. In increasingly dire frustration I deleted it. Deleted it! And then the Apple App store wanted to charge me $14.99 to re-buy it! Snarl and growl. I went and found iLife '11, hoping it was the latest version, and anyway, if it isn't Apple is usually decent enough to update if you've bought the product in recent history. Being by now thoroughly versed in the checking and re-checking of everything multiple times, I did open the App store again, and finally, under Purchases, there was my Garage Band, uninstalled, ready to install. So I didn't have to re-install iLife.

Did the re-install work? No. GarageBand has become the most finicky mistress, or, in my case, master. It certainly recognized my mic, but allow recording to occur through it? Not on your iLife.

I think in the process of clicking anything and everything I clicked Input over to the internal mic and viola, recording real sound. Then I clicked it back to my mic. And it worked!

No idea if it ever will again, or if I have to jump through X number of hoops before the software responds correctly.

Ok. So we got recording. I recited my little poem. Almost too fatigued to care about the quality emotion wrapped up in the tremor of voice. Perhaps too shrill; perhaps not contained enough. I don't like my voice, but few of us do. It's too high. I try to remember to speak more deeply. And so on and so forth as I recorded the scant minute and a half a few times.

I did choose a recording that wasn't too bad but the weird thing is that the sound was a bit 'tinny.' I had recorded the piece I read on open mic last sunday at Nik Beat's HOWL at Q Space in preparation for my performance and the sound had been crystal clear and very life-like. Try as I might, with moving the mic from desk to lap, tilted up, and down, the 'tinny' sound remained.

So finally I plugged in another mic that, look we're talking low end stuff here, but there are subtleties, is not as good as the mic that had become 'tinny' for no good reason.

It was getting dark. I had to take the dogs out. I hadn't eaten, neither had they. And I kept at it, tenaciously.

Yes, as I said yesterday, while I'm not fully satisfied with the final recording, IT WILL DO (take that, GarageBand!). And yes I spent some time finding tracks on freesound.org and mixing and re-mixing them. By the time I'd saved a version and uploaded and shared to Facebook and posted on my blog, it was 9pm, and when I took the dogs out the slush that had fallen all day was becoming lethal slippery icy under foot and I didn't have my cleats on and so we gingerly walked around the block, not enough of a walk for any of us, but we all came home nearly an hour later soaking wet, and even this morning their leashes and harnesses and dog coats are still damp.

Here's the recording again.

You'll forgive me for posting it twice.


  direct link: She, transparent to the sun (the title is taken from the quote from Legends of the Bible by Louis Ginzberg on Noah's birth, but also describes the painting, which became an integral part of the meaning).

___

 brendaclews.com
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Little recording of, 'She, transparent to the sun'



Really I don't quite like the way I read this poem, but it's getting there (and SoundCloud may have done some uninvited ducking). It's the poem written into the drawing I posted earlier today. For the background, I mixed some tracks from freesound.org. See if you can guess the riddle in it.
___



 brendaclews.com
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Resisting a multi-media rendition of Palmistry, a Psalm

After I began this painting, a prose poem became 'an inner pressure,' and so I spent a few days writing one, and even made a little recording, and while I would have finished the painting last week by writing the poem onto the canvas, the 'inner pressure' now is to make a video poem. I don't want to! I argue with my muse: It's too much work; no-one watches them. Who needs a video? But though I have tracing paper taped to the painting for a 'dry run' on the writing - want to make sure I space it properly so it all fits on - and have sat to work, that da*n muse won't let me! So now I need to create a video space with canvas or something around it and video the act of writing, pen on parchment for the spacing, pen on canvas for the final, up close. Do you think I can manage this little task? I'm so in resistance.

Doing a piece in three media, painting, writing, and video is way too much work for one woman and yet, resist as I might, the muse is stronger and is resisting my resistance and will win out. Due to a busy week, likely won't video until next week. Oy! Is it like this for you?

The layered x-ray (real, of my wrist) and the painted hand (I was looking at my actual hand when I painted it) that you see in the first image was done digitally and would be fun to work with in a video, fading in and out of one or the other. I could do some found footage of Nazis, also. Coatlique, Ophelia, yes, if I find public domain images. Oh, and those great drawings of the hand for palmistry, palm readings. That would be fun. And so on. Lots of ideas, no will to do it. Lol.








Below is the prose/poem for if you hadn't already read it and wanted to take a look.
_

A Palmistry, a Psalm

The hand is a poem. A fragmenting poem in my hand. Fingers blow in the wind like bulrushes. That gnarled branch overhanging the water, a twisted wrist. I wear a carpal bone like a pendulum, the rattle of Coatlique.

Our hands, neuronal cells pulsing nerves probing the world, soft, sensitive. In the signs in the lines on our palms a seer's language. Our journey mapped in grooves of curvature of skin over muscle and bone. Born here; die there. One, or two, or five central relationships. You will /or will not have children. This will be a difficult time; easier there. My, you are a sensualist.

They cut off the hands of thieves. Only I never stole. When was my hand severed? As a child? In the nightmare it is staked in the window, a sign for the henchmen of dictators, thieves of the freedom of souls. Herod's soldiers grabbing the first born; Nazi boots kicking down the doors of the Jews. Marked houses. Signs of those sacrificed on the altars of cruelties of power.

In my hand, you will find I've lived a clean life. Does this echo the ethical universe? Ethos is what enables order, harmony, beauty. This swollen and sore hand is emblazoned with 'the mark.'

I touch you, lying on the soft grasses of the riverbank, glide delicate fingers over your features, reading you, your body of braille. And massage you, warm oiled dance of fingertips and palm whorls penetrating knots, torments, memories. Even as my wrist flicks, and breaks.

My hand drifting downstream, decked in an Ophelia of lace and rings. Hold it; hold me.






 brendaclews.com
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testing a super easy way of embedding an MP3 player in Blogger with html5



A Palmistry, a Psalm: see previous post.
Background music by Aymeric, from their album on Jamendo, 'Sometimes,' cut 03.

just testing a super easy way of embedding a player in Blogger with html5, thanks
Amanda Kennedy!

brendaclews.com
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Ruminations on Mystical Consciousness



'Ruminations on Consciousness' (9:41min) as I prepare to write a prose poem to be called Colour of Near Death for a forthcoming videopoem.


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White Fire on Nik Beat's show in 2000



A reading of White Fire on CIUT FM in Toronto, 2000
on Nik Beat's show.


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Poetry Recording with Music: La Luna



Brenda Clews, poetry, voice, mix; background music, zero-project, 'Forest of the unicorns,' from their album on Jamendo, Fairytale.

My very first 'found' poem ever! However, the lines are all mine. A poem I composed from lines found in three of my tightly written, packed journals from 1980. I may or may not make a video poem, but if I do, having made a recording will help.

La Luna

Razors of lightning press my eyelids.
Your white love, the pearl shell seas.
The sky peels back like a scroll.
You are mine, unsplitted, fleshless.

Cornucopias, hot-bed undersea growths of things
joined to other things in sections, in shell lines.

Mad shadows. My blood is full of alcohol.

Memory is internally roused, without evasion.

I open the door to your shadowed face, dark hair, beard-
those fluid sea-algae, jade-green eyes.
Do they absorb or reflect light?

Light is a tumbling ball.
The moon is a lunatic.
There is a lady on the telegraph pole.

Each man or woman who enters has to leave
their personality behind like tossed clothes.

Pastel lightning crosses the sky.
The moon is a fetish.
A fat, marshmallow moon.
The moon contemplates itself,
a blood moon.

Words are a wash of waves;
waves of a ceaseless alphabet.

My throat is a silent, howling hyena;
the illness of passion.

I've been caught.

Where is the land; where is the vessel?

Lapped wind and frothed cloud;
mutant moon
- a glowing field of electrical fabric -

Vision is dangerous.

This fragile moon letter of white light.

The white imagination that you have to travel
through the prism to get to.

When I'm in love I'm outside of what
I'm inside of the rest of the time.


I follow the moon
am nothing but motion
...............following
streets marked by lights
as round as moons

am nothing
but shadows of light

as the moonlight
careens drunkenly in the sky

shrouds hide me
while the moon dances

a hallucinated ball

of white wind

shorn of darkness
dance naked night
my eyes flutter
in the tops of trees

spirits gather and flee

you have gone


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Comments (2)

The Wall





While I sound quite depressed, I think I am actually facing the wall now. Before, I wouldn't look at it, or acknowledge it. It's invisible, but wholly impenetrable.

It cannot be cracked, splintered, knocked down, for I've tried all this and more; it can only be burnt.

Like karma, though it is not like karma because there is no cause and effect. No lesson. Rather, irrational, what we can never fully know. It sounds like glass, but it's not. There isn't anything it's like except for an impenetrable, invisible wall. There is no reason for this, none at all. Kafka's trial.

_
I typed this text into the box at the P22 Music Text Composition Generator:

the wall of resistance the impenetrable wall the wall that is invisible that is everywhere around me the wall of permanence try to imagine no wall I cannot I have lived behind this invisible wall I have flung boiling water at it I have attacked it with hammers I have attempted to pierce it with the lasers of my consciousness the wall stands tall higher than I can climb deeper than I can fall the wall is real  the wall is karma the wall is what I cannot surmount I can touch the world

That's not all of it, but it still made for a midi track longer than the recording. I did a lot of things to the midi track to make that background, which came out the way I had hoped in the end.

While the voice may be a little flat (I was lying flat on my back), I went with this recording because it suits the words.

Whether I add this to a video I haven't yet conceived, I don't know.

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Lacemaker: An Early Draft and Sketch


(5:16min)

I wrote Lacemaker in July 2007. A week ago I recorded it on my iPhone, a quiet reading, and added a track in the background from the Music Text Composition Generator that I had entered the poem into. While the midi file that the MTCG created is layered a few times, the poem is its own music, yes.

A few days ago I was tidying my desk, and came across a notebook from that year, and found a drawing I did in Starbucks during lunch and a draft in pencil of part of the poem. Click for larger size.




You can read the poem here: Lacemaker (it'll open in a new tab or window, which won't interrupt the recording if you're listening to it).
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