poetry, the chorus

hello, out there

I was recently reminded of the fact that I possess a blog by one of my students. It has been a long time since I’ve written in it.

So.2. Since I last wrote here, the chorus group has met two more times, to work on some Shakespeare and some Yeats. I have been really consumed with this, to the extent that I’ve forgotten about almost everything else.*

All three meetings, so far, have tested me and the methods I have in ways that I really need. I hadn’t realized to what extent my chorus techniques were becoming didactic from primarily teaching in student contexts. Working with adult actors and musicians feels like such a luxury. I have missed it. I have missed it in the way that you miss things in French, where the missed thing is the subject and you are the object.

With this group of people, there is nothing to teach, nothing to be communicated — there is only the chance to explore a largely unexplored region of performance, and I am learning from their work. It’s amazing.

We are doing things that I haven’t tried in years, if ever, including doubling voices on top of other voices with digital recorders, and using simultaneous pieces of different texts. I am back in an environment where my word on a subject is not the final word. That’s a good thing. I have even done something which I haven’t done since Clytemnestra/Cassandra (if there is anyone reading this besides Z who remembers that, I will give you a prize): participated in the vocal realizations of the choruses myself. That is to say, sung.

I have dreamed of being able to work on choruses once a week for a long time. (This is a revised dream from the original dream, which would have been working on them every day, all day and all night.) It is startling to me how long I’ve waited to make this happen, and how I probably wouldn’t have made it happen, at all, if not for the particular environment of Hopkins and Baltimore, for the Single Carrot actors I know, for the friends from poetry classes.

I have lots of interesting sound files that I would like to put up, but that probably won’t happen until after finals are completed. I do, however, hope to create some kind of Internet presence for them that will allow me to post them more regularly. Maybe a subpage of this site, or another site. Or a Myspace.

At any rate, I’m very grateful to the collaborators who have made this possible.

* Oh, and — the “half-thesis” or first-year portfolio for the MFA is due to the faculty tomorrow. Needless to say, that’s about all there is to talk about right now.

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