Sunday, November 13, 2005

November Nuances

Last year, I created 100 Scanned Quotations. In this work, I found words written by great thinkers, artists and writers about the significance of flowers in their lives. I wrote this material in conjunction with my Scanner Art Series, where I took freshly-picked flowers from my garden and scanned them using a flatbed scanner.

When November comes, the last vesitages of flowers remain and evening begins its sleepy darkness as early as 4 PM.

Being a Spring/Summer person, there is always a bit of sadness in my heart at this time of year. But I use this energy to create a seasonal work.

About a year ago, I created a QTVR movie called Last Cosmos. This virtual reality film celebrates the majesty of the glorious Cosmos flower at the end of its day.

This year, however, I have written a short composition called November Nuances for piano, vibraphone, percussion and synthesizer. In a sense, this work is a song without melody in the same way that this time of year is about trees without leaves.

Feel free to listen to my new composition as you explore the quotations below which I have found that speak about the month of November.


NOVEMBER


When shrieked
The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades
That met above the merry rivulet
Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still; they seemed
Like old companions in adversity.
- William Cullen Bryant, A Winter Piece (l. 22)

On my cornice linger the ripe black grapes ungathered;
Children fill the groves with the echoes of their glee,
Gathering tawny chestnuts, and shouting when beside them
Drops the heavy fruit of the tall black-walnut tree.
- William Cullen Bryant, The Third of November

The dusky waters shudder as they shine,
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy twine.
- Hartley Coleridge, November

Dry leaves upon the wall,
Which flap like rustling wings and seek escape,
A single frosted cluster on the grape
Still hangs--and that is all.
- Susan Coolidge (pseudonym of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey), November

Fie upon thee, November! thou dost ape
The airs of thy young sisters, . . . thou hast stolen
The witching smile of May to grace thy lip,
And April's rare capricious loveliness
Thou'rt trying to put on!
- Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr, November

My sorrow when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
- Robert Lee Frost, My November Guest

No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease.
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!
- Thomas Hood, November

The dead leaves their rich mosaics
Of olive and gold and brown
Had laid on the rain-wet pavements,
Through all the embowered town.
- Samuel Longfellow, November

Now Neptune's sullen month appears,
The angry night cloud swells with tears,
And savage storms infuriate driven,
Fly howling in the face of heaven!
Now, now, my friends, the gathering gloom
With roseate rays of wine illume:
And while our wreaths of parsley spread
Their fadeless foliage round our head,
We'll hymn th' almighty power of wine,
And shed libations on his shrine!
- Thomas Moore, Odes of Anacreon (ode LXVIII)

The wild November come at last
Beneath a veil of rain;
The night winds blows its folds aside,
Her face is full of pain.
The latest of her race, she takes
The Autumn's vacant throne:
She has but one short moon to live,
And she must live alone.
- Richard Henry Stoddard, November

Wrapped in his sad-colored cloak, the Day, like a Puritan, standeth
Stern in the joyless fields, rebuking the lingering color,--
Dying hectic of leaves and the chilly blue of the asters,--
Hearing, perchance, the croak of a crow on the desolate tree-top.
- Bayard Taylor, Home Pastorals--November (I)

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