Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rilke: "Moving Forward" Standing on Fishes -- a poem set to music

I'm working on a setting of this Rilke poem for a dance performance. Here is the work in progress. The recipe? Some piano, some spoken voice, some tin whistle, a saxophone hybrid that sounds like an Armenian duduk, the ocean, some synthesized strings, some drums, and some cricket samples.

Moving Forward

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
that I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my sense, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
and in the ponds broken off from the sky
my feeling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

--Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Robert Bly)

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