Thursday, April 16, 2020

GloPoWriMo2020 Day 15: Banishing Spell

Prompt: Today, I’d like  to challenge you to write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music. Try to recreate the sounds and timing of a pop ballad, a jazz improvisation, or a Bach fugue. That could mean incorporating refrains, neologisms and flights of whimsy, or repeating/inverting lines or ideas – whatever your chosen musical form would seem to require! Perhaps a good way to start is to listen to your favorite piece of music and “free-write” for the duration  of the piece, and then use what you’ve written as the building blocks for your poem.

A few years ago, I performed in a choral production called Incantations, which involved music of ritual, rites, and altogether really interesting pieces of choral music. One of the pieces we performed was a very dark, experimental contemporary piece called Aglepta, which takes a Swedish trollproverb from the 19th century and brilliantly enacts it out in pitch, rhythm, and non-standard notation.

It's best to watch it here to get an idea of what it's like, but it's an amazing work and I love how Arne Mellnas uses various ranges of the voice to such effect.

The formatting for this was sheer hell so I left it in small font.

Banishing Spell

To leave an enemy without an answer, say these words to him: Aglaria Pidhol garia Ananus Qepta and blow in his direction; then he will not know which way he is headed and cannot answer you.
     - Smaland 19th Century, Swedish Trollproverbs (collected by Bengt of Kintberg)

A chant for three voices in three staves

|          fffffffffFFFFFffffffff      ffffffffwoooooooffFFFFFFFffffffooooo   ffff
|  They say                                     to leave an e! ne! my!                         beee
|       a    a a AH      a a      AAAH ah a        a a     a a     AAAAA  a a          hiiinnnd 

| BlOWwwwww   in his direction    aa    AAAAAA ahhhaaha       piiiihhHHHOOL!
|     blowwwww   in his direction    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh____  gaaaa a riii a
|  blowwwwww   in his direction        AAA a   a    AAA a  a     ga! a! A!   A! riAAA

|so I blow blow oh oh oh  ohhhhhhh hhhh               you                  you           away
|               and I send             and I send     and I send      and I send         you  away
|HAAAAaaaa            HAAAAaaaa    haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaway

|               iiiiissss    not child’s play                    we    are   no lon    ger  chil!  dren!
|         iiiiiiissssss                               we       are noooo lon   ger    chil!  dren! 
| This            iiiiiissss  noooooooooo   chiiiiiiiiiild’s pl – l – l –l –l aaaaaaaAAAAY

| go  go  go   I  claim my space s s S!   space s S! S!   i carve a space in air hh aairh
|    you you you  no lon       have a hooooooooooold       on me   dk dk chchCHTS S
| i i i i i i                        ger                hoo ho ho hold    i i i i breakkk your wordsss

|A GLAAAAA ri a     I take back my eyes                       I free my hands my words
|                I break my chains                          gaaaaaRIIIIIIaaaaa
|                                           PIIIIIDHOOOL                            I unsew my tongue

|ANANUSSSSSSSS       qepTAAAAaaaa                                   offfff your words
|        ANANUSSSSSSSS! S! S!                        looocked in the chains           
|    ANANUSS                         kept toooooo long           qep qep qep TA tat a aaaaa

| I blow ffffffff                           and you no! lon! ger! can answer              now
| I blow      fffffffffff             and you                                           answer            that
| I blow         fffffffffffff   and you                                                       answer             I

| blow your chains                  back          at   at at at              YOUuuuuuu h   ||        
|       ohhhhHOOOOOhhhhh      ohhhOOOOOhhh    qepta   YOUuuuuuu h   ||
| aglaaariiiia!   AGLAaariiiia!    garia   ANANUS qepta       YOUuuuuuu h   ||


Jade Li said...

I would love to hear this out loud. I believe it would work! :)

Shuku said...

Aww thank you Jade! It will - I hear it as a 3-part choral piece in my head so I know it can, it just needs three people haha!

Smitha said...

I agree with Jade. I too would love to hear this piece aloud. I hope you're feeling better today. Will check out the link you've provided later.

The Bizza said...

Oh what wonderful experimentation! I was caught up in the incantation. This is bold work that I'd love to hear spoken... or is it chanted? :)

Elizabeth Boquet said...

I was sitting here, stunned, after listening to "Aglepta - Arne Mellnas" -- and then I read your poem - CHILLS! So powerful!! -- and suddenly, I didn't know where I was. (Don't worry. I'm back now but thank you for transporting me.)

Shuku said...

Smitha - Thank you so much! I probably should try to find a way to record this in three parts haha, practice my sound editing skills...I'm still borderline migrained, but I hope it will get better. Yes, do check out the link, Aglepta is something magical (and scary but still magical!)

Barry - I'm so glad you like it! It definitely was an experiment (bathroom muses lol), and as I said to Smitha, yes I will try and record it sometime. Barring any accidents on my unskilled part haha! Chanted - spoken - sung!

Elizabeth - Isn't Aglepta wonderful? The fist time we performed it we scared a lot of audience members, because they had no idea what was going on (it's a piece for women's voices and the men were in black, crawling like demons on the floor...) Thank you so much! I'm glad you're back and I'm so glad I could transport you to somewhere hopefully magical! <3

Romana Iorga said...

Wow, Shuku--this is bewitching! "I take back my eyes," "I unsew my tongue"--you go, girl. And the piece by Arne Mellinas (which I listened to, rather than watched) took me to a small medieval village where I heard dogs in the streets and cranes in the sky. Wow--thank you!

Shuku said...

Thank you so much Romana! I remember that it was a learning curve for us to learn Aglepta, but I really love it now. It's so atmospheric - and I FELT THE SAME WHEN WE PUT THE FINISHED PIECE TOGETHER, the village and the old-time atmosphere! High-five!

Kerfe said...

Both chorus and printed image conjure shivery magical flight. Wonderful!

Shuku said...

Thank you so much Kerfe! Ancient trollproverbs are awesomd that way!

Kerfe said...

You inspired me today

Manja Mexi said...

Yeah! This is wicked. I'm not an enemy but even I feel vanished. :D