Tag Archives: music

The Lamb and the Tyger, William Blake. John Tavener.

The poem called the Lamb by William Blake was first written in his collection of works called Book of Innocence. This book later became part of Songs of Innocence and Wisdom.

The book shows the benefit of Naivety and Experience. This was highlighting another aspect of the teachings of William Blake. Contraries. Without Innocence, wisdom would have no use. The overcoming of innocence brings wisdom and experience.

The trick is to get the balance right. We need to remain innocent in some aspects. For example, I have no experience of drug taking, nor do I ever want any. I don’t think I would benefit from taking drugs of any kind at all . But at the same time, I have benefited by the experience of others in this area. I have seen what drugs do to people and desire to remain innocent of ever doing it myself.

The Lamb poem was mirrored in the  Songs of Wisdom, by The Tyger. On one hand, you have the innocence of the Lamb, who knows nothing and is happy to go about life just…being. The Tyger however is manipulative, always looking for opportunities to devour those not as smart as himself. Blake sees the Tyger as evil and cruel. But the Tyger cannot exist without the Lamb. If there were no innocent created, the Tyger would not have anything or anyone to prey upon.

Blake also reminds us in the poem, the Tyger, that the Tyger was made by the same hands who made the Lamb. Good and evil by one hand. Since the bible tells us that all things are created by God (John Chapter 1), then God made good and evil alike. Without Evil, there is no good, or we wouldn’t be able to discern between the two.

Such a paradox for one, such as me, who always thought that all good came from God and all evil came from Satan.

I have been contemplating this since studying William Blake this last semester (semester 2, 2016) when I studied Blake at University. It was again brought to my mind when we sang The Lamb (words by William Blake, Music by John Tavener) on the Australian Catholic University Choir tour to Rome.

John Tavener obviously studied the poem and its context well before writing the music for this  a Capella piece. The song starts off with the purity of a soprano line, and is joined in along the way by alto, tenor and bass sections. The soprano is beautiful but haunting as the singers ask… “Little Lamb who made thee? dost thou know who made thee?”

As the different sections are added, you can hear the discords or the clash of notes between two or more sections. In some parts the clash is quite pronounced as natural notes come against sharps, which are sung at the same time as flats. It really is confusing for a singer. The timing also is varied throughout the song, as is the volume. But in the end, it all comes together , when the child says…”I’ll tell you who made thee… he is called by your name”. From  then on harmonies bland well, united under one God. It truly is a remarkable piece of music. Copyright prevents me from sharing the written music with you, but here is a YouTube clip from King’s College, Cambridge of the song so you can hear the discord harmonies for yourself.

enjoy.

Dave


“The Lamb”
from Songs of Innocence

Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

“The Tyger”
from Songs of Experience

Tyger Tyger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire!
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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Filed under literature, Visionary Imagination

“All Art is Quite Useless”

This was the sentiment of the society in the Victorian Era. It is a quote from Oscar Wilde, . Oscar promoted the school of Aesthetics which said art is for art sake. It is not meant to have a use. “Those who go beneath  the surface do so at their peril”. What he was saying here, is appreciate art for its own sake, don’t try to find meaning in it where possibly there is none. Both quotes are from ‘Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray’.

Oscar-Wilde_All-art-is-quite-useless

 

Art today however is not useless. Art is used by our Utilitarian society for the promotion of products. An image, a logo designed by a graphic artist, would be used around the world for people to recognise the brand as Universal.

Where have all our writers gone… long time passing?

Where have all our writers gone… long time ago?

Where have all our writers gone? Gone to movies and music everyone.

When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn.

(thank you Peter, Paul and Mary).

It is my thought that writers of good literature or poetry are being swallowed by the media machine. When one reads a new action fiction book, we think of how good that would transfer to be a movie. And inevitably we proclaim, that the movie is never as good as the book…. But a writer has to eat. Plays are no longer written, but screenplays are, such is the evolution of literature as I have espoused before.

Likewise our poets cannot make a living as a poet anymore. Much poetry is now adapted to become songs. Songwriting is much more lucrative than poetry writing.

I beg for the return of good literature to again fill our shelves. What will future students of 21st literature say about writers of our generation? We as writers need to give them something to talk about.

Art can indeed be utilitarian as well as aesthetic. Producing art, in any form can be so therapeutic. Have you seen the latest trend? Colouring in for Adults, as a form of stress relief. Music is used in therapy. Reading books lowers the heart rate and calms the nerves, (although I am not sure if reading screens does the same thing).

The Expanse conference which I attended  last year and the SPARC conference are recruiting artists of all kinds to encourage them to use their art for the good of social causes around the world; to make the first world aware of third world problems and issues that can be more easily digested than just mere facts.

My aim in Life as I have spouted before, is to look for beauty in this world and share it with people who have difficulty seeing it for themselves.. Whether this be through my art, my photography, my music or my writings. This is the whole purpose of my life. Don’t keep the beauty of your world to yourself, let others see it, and smile.

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Filed under 19th Century Literature, art, literature

Tinkling the ivories and shedding tears

hh-spinet

The harpsichord stood against the wall next to his old music-box. It is just as grandpa left it, ready to play his favorite music.

The instrument would stand quiet now, with his passing. I was caught in a daydream of reminiscing, as people in black suits and sensible dresses murmured over tea and fruitcake.

Out of the noisy throng of children playing outside, a little boy wandered in. He climbed onto the stool and began to play. We all watched in awe as this small child brought the keys to life. The music would not be silenced.

97 words

Friday Fictioneers.

This is the first time I have had an opportunity to participate this year. Looking forward to doing more.

Dave

 

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A tired choir

We started rehearsal at 8 this morning. We had 2 hours off in the afternoon then had to perform tonight. So tired and starting again at 7:15 am tomorrow

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Sister Act?

Not quite. After being in bed sick all weekend, I sang with the amazingly talented people from ACU choir tonight for the Bishops Conference. We rocked!

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Rozelle Flea Markets

I went today to photograph the colour and character of the Rozelle Flea Markets. Here are some of the results.IMG_2228 IMG_2157 IMG_2164 IMG_2174 IMG_2178 (2) IMG_2189 IMG_2199 IMG_2223

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Strike up the Band

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Village Bizarre

Last night I attended the Village Bizarre at The Rocks in Sydney. Here are some of the photos that I took. Some of the sites were truly Bizarre. I couldn’t find a website address in the brochure however I found this on the back of it #VillageBizarre with the symbol for Facebook twitter and a camera icon (not sure what that one is sorry)… I am a social media newbie.

The Bizarre is on each Friday night until December 19. have fun.

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Street Muso

Street Muso

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30/11/2013 · 11:54 am