20: Koch

Text: Kenneth Koch’s “To Various Persons Talked To All At Once.”

Koch B: Rolling, ramshackle waves. (Text starts almost a minute into this recording. Long segment of dreamlike, scene-establishing initial wave sounds.)

Koch A; Sunshiny and scattered. Another variation on the experiment we first tried with “Provide, Provide” of having two different readings of the poem happening at different tempi / starting at different points.

Koch C: A capella: just the text of the poem.

To Various Persons Talked To All At Once

You have helped hold me together.
I’d like you to be still.
Stop talking or doing anything else for a minute.
No. Please. For three minutes, maybe five minutes.
Tell me which walk to take over the hill.
Is there a bridge there? Will I want company?
Tell me about the old people who built the bridge.
What is “the Japanese economy”?
Where did you hide the doctor’s bills?
How much I admire you!
Can you help me to take this off?
May I help you to take that off?
Are you finished with this item?
Who is the car salesman?
The canopy we had made for the dog.
I need some endless embracing.
The ocean’s not really very far.
Did you come west in this weather?
I’ve been sitting at home with my shoes off.
You’re wearing a cross!
That bench, look! Under it are some puppies!
Could I have just one little shot of Scotch?
I suppose I wanted to impress you.
It’s snowing.
The Revlon Man has come from across the sea.
This racket is annoying.
We didn’t want the baby to come here because of the hawk.
What are you reading?
In what style would you like the humidity to explain?
I care, but not much. You can smoke a cigar.
Genuineness isn’t a word I’d ever use.
Say, what a short skirt! Do you have a camera?
The moon is a shellfish.
I can’t talk to most people. They eat me alive.
Who are you, anyway?
I want to look at you all day long, because you are mine.
Might you crave a little visit to the Pizza Hut?
Thank you for telling me your sign.
I’m filled with joy by this sun!
The turtle is advancing but the lobster stays behind. Silence has won the game!
Well, just damn you and the thermometer!
I don’t want to ask the doctor.
I didn’t know what you meant when you said that to me.
It’s getting cold, but I am feeling awfully lazy.
If you want to we can go over there
Where there’s a little more light.

– Kenneth Koch

Recorded on Saturday, September 4 at the Blue Room at the Baltimore Free School.
Chorus: Genevieve de Mahy (vox), Madeleine de Mahy (clarinet), Stephen Edwards (sax, flute), Richard Goldberg (vox), Kaveh Haerian (vox), Joe Martin (guitar, mus. dir.), Danny Schwartz (guitar), Dara Weinberg (vox, dir), Gavin Whitt (vox)

Rehearsal notes:

Core group: Review of Stevens and Yeats. Decision to drop Yeats from core group repertoire and take up the Wright “At the Executed Murderers’ Grave” instead.

All levels: Large group, one of our largest so far. Four musicians and five actors. Some interesting balance issues between musicians and actors, but great challenges in the multiplicity of it. Some trouble maintaining cohesion when recording setup requires standing very, very far away from one another, as well, but we overcame it to get some usable recordings. An idea that we never actually did a take on was linking one musician to each actor for the duration of the poem: something to explore in the future.

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