Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton - Music and Poetry of the Kesh (2018)

Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton
Music and Poetry of the Kesh
(1985, Reissue 2018)

Ursula K. Le Guin, the master writer who died in January at the age of 88, in her final months was preparing the re-release of a 1985 work that had largely flown under the radar. "Music and Poetry of the Kesh", her collaborative album with composer and analog synthesist Todd Barton, was first issued on cassette in 1985, bundled with Le Guin’s novel "Always Coming Home", a dark-horse favorite among her readers. It's an expansive, 523-page portrayal of a future tribe of indigenous people living an anti-colonial existence 500 years from now, their lives ruled by nature and the seasons, their story told by Le Guin in fiction, poetry, plays, recipes, ethnography, a glossary, and hand-drawn maps. Even given those wildly melding genres, Le Guin claimed she needed to "hear the music", too. She enlisted Barton and began an elaborate and carefully considered process that yielded the deceptively verisimilar "Music and Poetry of the Kesh".

01. Heron Dance [4:08]
02. Twilight Song [1:00]
03. Yes—Singing [2:35]
04. Dragonfly Song [5:22]
05. A Homesick Song [2:17]
06. The Willows [1:40]
07. Lullaby—Lahel [4:09]
08. Long Singing [5:48]
09. The Quail Song [2:10]
10. A Teaching Poem [0:55]
11. A River Song [3:14]
12. Sun Dance Poem [1:53]
13. A Music of the Eighth House [5:42]

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