Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Fulsome And Final Missives Of Those We Miss

Fig. 1. Le Testament d'Orphée (still), 1960 - d. Jean Cocteau

'After the writer's death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.'

Jean Cocteau

Your Ears Will Orgasm #15: Cello Concerto (Farewell to Philosophy) - Gavin Bryars (MixPod Player)

Addendum #1: The Delicate And Precarious Tact In Audacity*

Klaus Nomi
(1944-1983) - 'The Cold Song' from Henry Purcell's opera King Arthur (Munich, December 1982)

The Cold Song

What Power art thou,
Who from below,
Hast made me rise,
Unwillingly and slow,
From beds of everlasting snow!

See'st thou not how stiff,
And wondrous old,
Far unfit to bear the bitter cold.

I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath,
I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath.

Let me, let me,
Let me, let me,
Freeze again...
Let me, let me,
Freeze again to death!

Henry Purcell (music) & John Dryden (lyrics)

At the time of this performance, Klaus' audience was unaware of his HIV-positive status. Although frustrated with shortness of breath and fatigue, he was determined to perform to his home crowd. Six months later, Nomi died. He was thirty-nine years old.

* 'The tact in audacity is knowing how far you can go without going too far.' Jean Cocteau

* 'Toward the end of the show, the lights dimmed and the room was filled with a thundering musical ovation. The curtains opened and the spotlight fell on a strange, unearthly presence wearing a black gown, clear plastic cape, and white gloves. As the orchestral refrain from Saint-Saëns' Samson and Dalila was played, this strange Weimar version of Mickey Mouse began singing in an angelic voice. "I still get goose pimples when I think about it," remembers Joey Arias, who was in the audience that night. "Everyone became completely quite until it was over."'

Steven Hager (Art After Midnight: The East Village Scene)