the gentle art of soft landings

June 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Posted in australian poetry, jazz poetry | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

Suddenly his hands forgotten,

Take one moment to see my work he said breathing dirt
and holding out an open hand tis true one develops
a heart of stone when one sleeps rarely
and only in certain uncouth company, yesterday
a gilded cage
then under bridges
fallen

Sketched you in Morocco
standing naked hips tilted,
at the window in the morning
thinking about breakfast.

with a twist on ice, if it’s not too Dean Martin, omerta
principles with an end to occam Picasso was an immaculate
draughtsman before he was a Cubist without
being sweeney practiced my grammar, recap
italising the ‘I’ and using ‘one’ as in one may assume?
between the keeping of secrets and the breaking of promises
insert ocean metaphor here teddy as I explored your consent
to my manipulations of the roots of language and gloried in my power.
remember that car exit bridge alternate endings either way and both shot down
left you standing by that river shivering and her dying
hyannis port, white sails blue horizon,
on the occasion of another passing
found at the centre Matsuo Basho
giggling over a still pond no frogs nor
the sound they make when they land

(composed to the music of  Joseph Tawadros -“Hand in Hand” which you can listen to here, with Alister Spence (piano), John Napier (cello) & James Tawadros. )

(written as a first attempt at the National Jazz Writing Competition)

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11 Comments »

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  1. Later this week, I can talk about the process used to create this poem. Hopefully it reflects some of my ideas about Jazz, if anyone’s interested.

  2. “between the keeping of secrets and the breaking of promises” 🙂

  3. shifting tones and imagery quick chance within the theme without
    or something chappaquiddick a pretty jazzy sound. efk fell far
    but came back for air and repair and had to start again from the bottom, jazz like everyone has. (not a river but merely a canal small enough to swim almost enough for an alibi)
    totally cool poem and the music! mystifying movement. a piece like this volume.
    i hope you win!

  4. I’d be interested in the process – always. I remember parts of this poem (or are they from different poems?)from before. I wonder what I said back then. Good luck with the competition – not that you need luck with such a talented pen.

  5. Thankyou! I wrote the process piece, Gabrielle, but it’s not really interesting enough to justify a whole posting so I’ll just plonk it the comment box here for future reference…

    There are few fields of endeavour in which the gap between theory and practice is wider than in improvised music. Whilst it is possible to lay a theoretical foundation to underpin practice and to post facto analyse the done deed, when the music is actually being made it is the reliance on instinct, feel and a kind of natural musicality that gives improvised music its unique life and vitality.

    That is not to say a jazz musician simply grabs a handful of random notes and willy-nilly whirlwinds them. Improvisations most often happen over a pre-determined pattern, perhaps a chord structure or a phrase or melody or even just an agreed musical idea, and that is how the poem below was composed. I say, ‘composed’ rather than ‘written’ because it is actually a pastiche, rearrangement and interpretation of several previously written pieces.

    Firstly, I listened to JT’s wonderful piece of music several times to get an idea of the feel and it’s sway. Then with it playing through the headphones I put the word ‘hands’ from the title of the piece into the internal search of this blog and selected the piece that seemed to best sych up with the music in rhythm and tone which I then copied and pasted into a document. I repeated this process using the last key word of that piece, ‘bridges’ (which also has a musical connotation and relates to the idea of holding hands), selected another piece and so on. This was done live while listening to the music, listening and acting as a kind of single action.

    I then replayed the piece of music whilst editing, or I would say composing the finished product by rearranging lines and phrases from the original work. I like to think this resembles the way a jazz musician might approach an improvisation around a medley of old tunes. The end result (the poem) is an artefact of the process. It is the process of its creation which is the improvisation. This is also true of the music. The recording is an artefact of the process of improvisation or creation, it allows access to that orginal moment when the music was conjured from a fusion of technique, planning, collaboration and inspiration.

  6. Thanks Paul for the process piece – I think it’s more than interesting (if you submit this poem to the comp, you should put it in the submission – I bet they’d get a kick out of it).

  7. hello, like this musical endeavor… contemplating in the separation of notes thou some with more than a 4 beat stay i like… as fingers placed on a piano playing a make up as we go along jazzy piece… there are so many winding paths and open ended places you visit… breathing dirt, stoney hearts..picasso absolutely…you know he tried traditionalist but then opened his wings and flew.. which is what this piece does… ahhh, comfy place to sit and visit…. best wishes that you accomplish yr latest endeavor…

  8. […] PDRTJS_settings_1919217_post_297 = { "id" : "1919217", "unique_id" : "wp-post-297", "title" : "the+gentle+art+of+soft+landings+%28via+gingatao%29", "item_id" : "_post_297", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fsoundanatomy.com%2F2010%2F07%2F07%2Fthe-gentle-art-of-soft-landings-via-gingatao%2F" } Suddenly his hands forgotten, Take one moment to see my work he said breathing dirt and holding out an open hand tis true one develops a heart of stone when one sleeps rarely and only in certain uncouth company, yesterday a gilded cage then under bridges fallen Sketched you in Morocco standing naked hips tilted, at the window in the morning thinking about breakfast. with a twist on ice, if it’s not too Dean Martin, omerta principles with an end t … Read More […]

  9. The poem and its manner of coming into being are both fine. I love jazz, and you characterize the music perfectly. I think so much of the way I paint is jazz-like — the reinterpretations of motifs, riffing on an image, and the bridges that link motifs and hands off the melody to another medium to develop into a different mood.

    It’s so joyful to find that in another field someone else does something that is like what you love doing. That’s jazz like too, the way that the musicians support each other’s talent, that one version is setting up something wonderful for the player who takes the next solo.

  10. stumbled on an old email from you and then been listening to the podcast to this today over and over…almost four years ago you wrote and then posted this and the loss of you still seems like yesterday…


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