Saturday, November 6, 2010

Across the ocean!

I'm here in Grinnell Iowa where the Grinnell College Singers directed by John Rommereim will sing my extended work El Limonar Florido (The Lemon Grove in Blossom) later today, with texts by the 20th century Spanish poet Antonio Machado.

And as I look at the hits from around the globe on my website, what pops up but this- a hit, looking at real pieces by moi- so therefore not a totally accidental error hit, by someone in Fuchal, on the island of Madeira! Madeira is the Portuguese controlled island out in the Atlantic Ocean, where my Portuguese ancestors (yes, the Carey dude is not totally Irish) lived for I don't know exactly how long. And it's that Portuguese bloodline that subtely influences my family, in some Portuguese noses, skin tone, and in my love for Portuguese/Spanish, ie. Iberian music. So how cool is it to see a hit show up on my stat counter from this tiny island, which for centuries has been famous for the fortified wine called Madeira, and more recently as a swanky resort destination.

The world keeps shrinking, usually in good ways! Also, btw, just now another hit-- this one from the Catalonia region in Spain, looking at my arrangement of the Catalonian Christmas Folk Song El Noi de la Mare, and then apparently exploring my wacky All Cat Love Song!

Here is a map of recent webpage hits- Madeira is that hit right in the middle, out to the west of Spain and Portugal in the Atlantic:

And here is a link to the webpage for my piece "El Limonar Florido":

And if you'd just like to see the beautifully lyrical texts here they are:

I. Tal vez la mano, en sueño
del sembrador de estrellas,
hizo sonar la música olvidada
como una nota de la lira immense,
y la ola humilde a nuestros labios vino
de unas pocas palabras verdaderas.
Perhaps the hand in dreaming
of being a star sower
made forgotten music echo
like a note from an enormous lyre,
and to our lips a tiny wave
came with a few true words.
II. Tarde tranguila, casi
con placidez de alma,
para ser joven, para haberlo sido
cuando Dios quiso, para
tener algunas alegrías…lejos,
y poder dulcemente recordarlas.
Tranquil afternoon, almost
with placidity of soul,
to be young, to have been so
when God willed it, to
have had some joys…far away,
and be able tenderly to recall them.
III. Desgarrada la nube; el arco iris
brillando ya en el cielo,
y en un fanal de lluvia
y sol el campo envuelto.
Desperte. ¿Quien enturbia
los magicos cristales de mi súeno?
Mi corazón latía
atónito y disperse.
…¡El limonar florido,
el cipresal del huerto,
el prado, verde, el sol, el agua, el iris!...
¡el agua en tus cabellos!...
Y todo en las memoria se perdia
como una pompa de jabón al viento.
The torn cloud, the rainbow
now gleaming in the sky,
and the fields enveloped
in a beacon of rain and sun.
I woke. Who is confounding
the magic crystal glass of my dream?
My heart was beating
aghast and bewildered.
The lemon grove in blossom,
cypresses in the orchard,
the green meadow, the sun, water, rainbow,
the water in your hair!
And all in my memory was lost
like a soap bubble in the wind.
IV. Luz del alma, luz divina,
Faro, antorcha, estrella, sol…
un hombre a tientas camina;
lleva a la espalda un farol.
Amoche soñé que oía
a Dios, gritándome: ¡Alerta!
Luego era Dios quien dormia,
y yo gritaba: ¡Despierta!
Soul light, holy light,
beacon, torch, sun, star.
A man stumbles on a road,
a lantern on his shoulder.
Last night I dreamt I heard
God shouting at me: Take care!
Later, God was sleeping
and I shouted: Awake!

I'm totally looking forward to the performance today- which also includes works by Arvo Part and the very talented Tarik O'Regan.

Adios for now,


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blogging for my Daddy, by Aidan

Me at the quad, short for quadrangle, at Grinnell College (a quadrangle is like a triangle but with four sides)

Okay, so my name is Aidan Matthew Carey, and I am Daddy's son and I am seven. Dad says do I want to go on a road trip and I said sure, when are we leaving for Disney World or maybe Alaska or even like New Zealand to see where they filmed the Lord of the Rings movies, and dad says no we are going to Iowa, Aidan. And I thought, umm Iowa, isn't that just corn fields and where the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum is and isn't Hoover better as a vacuum cleaner than a president, Dad? Well Dad says there is a great college there called Grinnell and that his friend John is the choir teacher there and and they even know like dotted half notes and something like German demented sixths I think he said, and so I said, well yeah let's go and can I take my football and my Bakugan and my Pokemon cards and Dad rolls his eyes and says, yeah I guess.

So Mom packed my stuff for me, and I know I will miss Mommy and my cat Poka a lot but somehow they will survive all their tears of woe and I'll be back Sunday night anyway, Mom.

So Dad and I took off this morning from Oak Park, IL to go to Ioway. And here is the cool stuff we did today and what we saw:

Stuff we saw:

Big wind farms and I even told Dad how I would invent solar power with millions of tiny mirrors and stuff
the Oberweis ice cream factory (yum)
a Nestles chocolate factory (oh I am hungry now)
sheep in a truck
sheep playing football with real uniforms and a scoreboard (kidding)
winter wheat
a tractor store with tractor sculptures
a Baby Ruth truck (hey, hungry again)
Dole banana truck, even with a mascot called Bobby Banana on the side (Bobby is a banana who is kicking a soccer ball- how does he not have humungous bruises on his shins?-- I mean he is a banana and we all know they bruise like crazy- maybe he should choose an easier sport, like mahjong?)
The world's largest truck stop on Route 80
A sign for a town called "What Cheer", and I am thinking yes, what cheer? Just tell me, what is the cheer? Come on, just fork over the information I tell ya.

So here is stuff we did in the car:
I quizzed dad about Pokemon for at least an hour straight, and then I taught him stuff about Pokemon for about two more hours. Dad is a really good listener about the Pokemon stuff I know. I know he is a good listener because he is always saying like "yeah...uh-huh...oh I see...oh", and even more "uh-huhs". So you know he must really be paying good attention. Then Dad decided that he was really getting lots of good Pokemon knowledge and decided to have me tell him all the prime numbers from 1-100. So I did that and Dad said I could have a prize for doing that and we discovered some cool number tricks about primes.

Then we had lunch at Burger King in Iowa City (where Gramma met Grampa about 500 years ago I think) because I like the mac and cheese there better than McDonald's chicken nuggets and besides Ronald McDonald scares me and he should scare you too. And then we finally got to Grinnell. It's a little town but lots of pizza places (dad says college kids eat lots of pizza), and coffees shops and even a Pizza Hut right near our B and B which is a crazy place where somebody has weird strangers live in their house (well I'm not weird but I bet lots of those other people are) and they give them breakfast but don't feed them anything else all day- I mean how unfair is that? I am going to starve at this B and B thing unless I can get Dad to take me to the Pizza Hut. I bet the Pizza Hut likes the B and B because everyone is starving and almost breaking down the doors at the Pizza Hut.

So we took all our stuff into the B and B place and actually our room is cool and my bed is cool and the blankets are softer than anything in the world and we discovered one of the wooden "poster" things on one of the beds is loose and you can take it right off and we laughed like crazy about that. And then we went over to this guy John's choir thing.

John is conducting a piece by my Dad about lemons or something- it's in some other language like Spanish which I know a little because my school teaches us about 1 word of Spanish each week. By the time I am 100 I will know lots of Spanish I think. I'll for sure know twice as many words as all the 50 year olds and they will have to ask me all sorts of stuff about Spanish and then I will be famous for my Spanish, even though I wish I didn't have to wait to be 100 to be famous. So Dad liked the choir and they liked him, but he told the boys to sing with their hearts more and made some comment about they should sing like they wanted to get a girl to like them (most of the boys my age don't like girls and think kissing is gross, but actually I think it's kind of sweet and lovey) or sing it like they really wanted a pizza with lots of meat on it. They laughed at my Dad's joke but I'm not sure I got it. Of course most of my Dad's jokes I don't get or they are so dumb that I have to punch him.

Anyway, then they sang some piece by a guy called Part and there were like a million cello players, I guess Part likes cellos or he likes girls too because most all the cello players were girls, except one was older, so she was a lady not a girl. And then they played a song with a guitar and it was really cool and it wasn't even electric guitar which is what I want to play.

So here is the best part- we went to a Mexican restaurant with John and we ate some food and it was okay I guess but I was getting tired and Dad and John were just talking about onsets, and warmups, and overt tones or something (not anything about Pokemon, can you believe it?) and I was getting sleepy and bored, but then this lady named Angela walked in and she is married to John, but she is really way cooler than John because she likes math like me and we talked about cool number tricks and prime numbers and stuff. Wow- she was so cool. And then she discovered there was a dessert menu at this restaurant and she found a little slice of heaven - vanilla ice cream with corn flakes and chocolate sauce, and whipped cream and a cherry. So we both got an order and she even gave me her cherry. I think she has a crush on me because she gave that to me and there are girls at Lincoln school that have a crush on me too and I guess I like them too. So all of a sudden I wasn't tired or bored anymore because Angela was so much fun and you know ice cream can solve all the problems of the world, right?

Me and Angela!

So that was day one of our four day trip to Grinnell, Iowa and it was way better than going to Disney World.

If Daddy lets me I will blog again tomorrow though I don't really know what blogging means- I think it just means typing what you did even if nobody ever reads it sometimes, I'm not real sure.

Good night,