If you've heard me talk about music long enough, you will know by now that I am MADLY IN LOVE with Eric Whitacre. I hang out at his website at every midterm (click the teensy yellow > button at the top right of the page for a pop-out music player). I listen to Sleep everytime I have insomnia (which happened a lot in J2). I almost cried the first time I heard Nox Aurumque on Youtube.
Yes I have intense feelings for this guy/ his music!
Yes I know he is married (to a super talented soprano)
So. After a crazy school week (about a month ago) I finally decided to stop being such a cheapo and actually support this guy's music instead of merely yammering about my love for him all the time.
I am clearly very excited. And also don't know how to invert photos when taken by Photo Booth. I bought the CD from amazon.com and it took forever to get shipped, and then it took forever to get delivered because my stupid building has no universal lock for postpeople to get in- so I was fielding calls from the amazon.com delivery guys all week. But they are AMAZING. Amazing customer service- they totally fought to deliver my CD to me (called me every time they were at the building to see if I could go open the door for them, plus I got a call from the delivery people headquarters, and the first question was, "Do you live in a gated community?" I laughed for a minute straight).
I LOVE YOU, AMAZON.COM DELIVERY GUYS!! Seriously. I'm glad you think I need my Whitacre CD as much as I think I do.
About the CD- I think I almost cried listening to Lux Aurumque. Not just the remembering of singing Lux, and all the feelings that I had built up just by singing Lux with the chorale people so much, but the exquisiteness of this piece in the CD! The soprano solo is BREATH TAKING. I didn't really like the Nox Aurumque on this CD as much for some reason. But the Hebrew love songs- ohhhh. The chord progression just wrings a little bit of my heart. Though I have to say that the choir sometimes has an openness of vowel (e.g. "open" and "and" in i thank you god) that is a little irritating. I really don't like overly bright/nasal vowels! I like smooshy dark rounded vowels.
If you didn't understand that... don't worry. haha.
My total fan-girlness is further explicated in this picture. HOW cute does he look in the CD case????? I bought the CD (held out for the long wait instead of just getting the album on iTunes) because I wanted the sleeve, which has comments from Whitacre about his inspiration/ process of writing/ etc, but then I found out that all of this was posted on his blog ): So I could have had the music earlier than today. Boo. This is the first CD I've bought in almost 10 years (I think the last CD was- Westlife. Or something.)!
Singing and music have been really resonating with me lately. We've been reading Toomer's Cane, which reminds me of Beloved (by Toni Morrison) in some ways (the disjunct between sections, the lyrical language, the quietness of the words), and yet disturbingly also of Kara Walker's art (she depicts African American life in sexually-explicit silhouette vignettes). There's a lot of song that resonates within the book, and it crosses the divide between prose and poetry in this sort of trembling, evocative way of African American spirituals. I remember singing Wade in de Water and wanting to just explode out of my skin and SING, an entire heart's worth of longing in a few bars.
Prayer is my favorite poem in the book. (I screencapped this from Google books because I couldn't find the text online). I love it. I don't even know why I love it. I could analyze this in an English major way, but I don't want to.
"My body is opaque to the soul"- how beautiful is that. My mind is opaque to my soul. Sometimes I feel like poetry encapsulates all the beauty in this world and turns it inside out, makes you question how it is that one word or one phrase can contain such a breadth of meaning. Everything that I think about my mind, the disjunct between intellect and spirit/ heart, the unbreachable divide between what I feel and how I can articulate it; but not only how I feel but WHAT I feel (in the sense of touch). I remember that when I was doing lit in JC, I used to complain that the over-focus on the analysis of technique in poetry comes at the expense of the poetic experience- the experiential beauty of having these words roll about in your mouth (this is what I feel when I read e.e. cummings or Rilke- that all this beauty is rolling about in my mouth in happiness. Like when I eat a cupcake. It's like a happy party in my mouth.) and vibrate in your mind/heart and you want to cup it close like a little kitty.
Okay I have totally been reduced to a blithering mess of Ohhhhh. But- read the poem. Read it slowly and seriously, and let it weigh a little on your heart and mouth. I really think that it is art and beauty that saves us.