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University of Utah radio presents music and other four letter words. Here is your host. Associate Professor of Music at the University of Utah Paul bad. We left them the poor children pay us the millions armed in the dark wood appearing really either at a distance or close range to be not much different from the little child but I think that you are listening to singing. Little songs was to his father the last time you knew you didn't seem to matter in the world of Paley us whether one was grown up with as little whether one was. An aged man in his 90s. Everyone was blind. Everyone was hungry. Everything was dark. The mists had gathered there was no innocence and there was hardly any experience. There were. There were no boundaries there were
no sharp delineations there were no trues there were no Ultimates everything was non sequitur. Everything was not even dependent in an existential way on every last thing. So who. Runs the stream of our illusions and we are pleased to call it life and and at some point we become either desperately aware of it and kill ourselves Tolstoy has sinned or we become desperately aware of it and we try to find ways out of it or we become casually aware of it and say What the hell. This kind of awareness of that's really the best word for it. Is with us now a Days Inn in strange places and sometimes peculiar guises. I don't know how many of you are aware of all of the people who like troubadours and true of episode Middle Ages wander among us these
days probably the children of wealthy parentage as were some of those people. I'm making songs I'm observing life as it seems to be about them drawing conclusions being spokesman for kinds of people. Among them. And I think and probably impressive numbers among them. There are some people who know about the world of Peleus Milly's on them who draw their own conclusions about themselves and who also try to posit some solution for what they regard as a problem. Now this is a song that may or may not be familiar to you but I think rather than sort of drifting off enjoying it or saying oh isn't that nice. I'm They sweet boys with a pleasant sound. But you probably ought to pay some attention to what it is that they're trying to say to us.
But see below. Us. Once you go. In. There. Yeah. In.
There. You. Eat. In a. In a in A. In a. You. Look at.
It. In a. They. Think. Of them. As a natural world. In much the same way that. Many never question this what goes on around her however. To us the extraordinary and they seem to be
when you go she's gone and she stays she stays that's how the song go. The girl does what she wants to do and then suddenly I'm the dubious soul walking in the garden and I'm tangled in the Fallen vines and I'm picking up punch lines and they can be any lines. And I realize that. A Here I am not here you're seeing and I'm not seeing hearing I am not hearing that in some sense I am not I. Is there any danger no. Really that's not a category in a world where there are no categories. Just lean on me says the text. Taking time to treat your friendly neighbors honestly. But I've just been faking it because there is no honesty and there is no dishonesty. And then suddenly that. Most telling I suppose Non-sequitur of all the mind moves darts quickly in another direction a little towards the south southwest. Prior to this live time I was probably a tailor and the reason that that occurs to me is because why not. Whatever is
happening around me now occurs to me. I see a tater it is Mr. Leach Good morning Mr. Leach somebody says to him Have you had a busy day. And suddenly I am not anymore. Me standing here and then I am the face of the hands of presenting man Mr. Leach who is over there and everything sort of. Disturbingly for Simon and Garfunkel and for some other people. Boils down to. But an opinion which is kind of my moralizing on the awfulness of the situation and opinion that it's all a great pretense. I think the distinguished people are the ones who call that illusion illusion and so do the buddhists as a matter thing. And we have to do something about the illusion. If ever we have this sort of present imminence and
feelings. And the overhangs of it what you do about it what do you do about the illusion I suppose you have a few choices few alternatives. Donovan says don't be too hard on it and don't be too hard on the people who are like you are beset by it who are sort of uptight and hassled. Not too hard says the Donovan song which unfortunately as far as I know he hasn't recorded for life is short and nothing is given to man. Don't be too hard on him if he tells you lies don't be too hard on the people who make you go out and die. For. Things that you never owned and for people that you don't really care about even though you read great to meditations from the 17th century that tell you that you want to care about it and that every man's death somehow diminishes you and that whenever the bell tolls it's tolling for you. To Just Let It Be. Take it from B. Somehow kindly and
sympathetic towards that. I think Donovan means that in a much more important way than just being nice and and accepting. He probably means it in the way that Richard Farina and me me me and that. If somehow you could pack up your sorrows and give them all to me. I could use them. I know how to use them I guess that's the way you would lose them. I know how to use them which is a great sort of assurance on the part of some people something like that as a sort of verbal hand reaching up. Remember how. How meaningless how pseudo how stupid how wrong how on moral How. How very much the world seems to be populated by the children of darkness and blindness and hunger and despair. You may think things are there are some ways show as among us and maybe Richard Farina is one of them and maybe Donovan is one of them.
Maybe there are even distinguished people like Beethoven Wordsworth and Wagner among them Gustav Mahler never pretended to be a little bit later in his life to be SEE thought that maybe he was on to something like that. But there is a way to turn the despair to something else or to see beyond it or to see through it. There are alternatives one of them is to just take it on another one is to be able to accept it because of something else than that I suppose is the big capital letter where this whole radio series began. And where it seems we're tending and the easy thing to do of course in the face of the dilemma is just to find a way out of it. There are lots of ways out of it go step mother said Art was a way out of it but it wasn't a very secure and very effective one and sort of was an anodyne which is what Coleridge took and I suppose there are the BOTA layers who take opium and there are plenty of people now who
take acid in one thing or another and it's a way out. Hopefully it may be a way to something else that's what De Quincey hoped about his experience with opium and sure enough it turned out for him to be away to something else. And certainly that may be the experience of the numbers of people nowadays with LSD. Art is less good but sometimes it can lead you to that something else which makes it all bearable. But. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's just time out. Sometimes it's just an escape from the night in this case too. Simon Garfunkel right after they've been singing about faking it make one of those escapes from which is a charming song and very sad indeed.
And one wonders what is the elusive quality of just that melody it sounds very Mozart to me and to me. Kind of like the last movement of the last Mozart Piano Concerto which on the surface of it sounds sprightly enough. But somehow carries its own sense of pain or melancholy. Well there are always the as if people wish i was people. If I could be tight people the ones who stop with the sideshows or make their own sideshows. But the way out by some other people this may be the most famous statement. That I ever me. No way out. Say some people mainly. I suppose myself just the way through the way through. There are two famous kinds of mystique which have grown up in this century.
Which attempt to kind of explore ways through in the hope of ways out of the sense that lots of little outs don't make any difference at all but that there is after many ins and outs of the great big out which once again like the something else is the sort of word that the Thomas Carlyle's would want to capitalize for us. One of the most positive bio CERN Berrigan we've talked about him before. And the other one Strangely enough though typically a little towards one side by Claude Debussy at about the same time. I'm sure in a barracks sort of caught up in the. Freud dn witchery. I began to sort of move in the direction of modern. Researchers back towards God. Who have said in recent years that the trend send them to God is not more important and
perhaps not as important as the imminent one. And that if you can find something out there maybe you can find it in there. And the beyond in the midst has become a famous phrase in England in the United States at least over the last decade. Sure. I'm not sure I ever found the beyond in the midst but at least he decided to penetrate it in the midst to see what could be seen because Freud seemed to be the way show or there the man has said sort of hesitantly at first and then with a good deal more enthusiasm and integrity I. Know how to use your sorrows. So reach the hand out give it to me and let me take you down that maze and we will see where we come out. But there was a way out for Idol was mysteriously believed in that is of course a religious present I'm sure it also seems to have
wanted to have believed it. And it did. Very pivotal a very important a very impressive a very imaginative a very great piece of musical composition in this century. For me it's the transcendent pieces in that are five and far and away more significant than the Rite of Spring of Stravinsky which many commentators seem still to like to make much of this is a work called PLO. A set of 21 poems which are in barracks set to a very imaginative instrumental combination. And which in three times the seven poem sets out to explore the problem not only of this time but of each one of us. If he becomes aware of what the problems of the time may be. And the first set of poems has his full share of the problem of desire and memory and the
great wish principle I suppose of Freud Henderson the Rain King is wanting. I want I want to astonish these old act one act two. Not being able to do anything about it except suffer it. We we let go. We let go for a minute and succumb. Yield. Submerge ourselves into the dark night of the soul I guess and John of the cross would say or cure Gore says we we find ourselves on that mountain height where we have a choice whether or not to jump into the hands of God or not. We ought to listen I suppose to two or three of those very short songs from theology now. Commencing with the one called the sick moon. He was somber deathly stricken moon on the heaven's darkest couch up there. You look at me and your face so
feverish Lee swollen charms me like a strange and chanted piece of music. What is this sickness that haunts. What is this anguish this year ending after the move and what is the strange thing that even sometimes calls moonlight beautiful and white lies the beauty of the moon. I. It on the heels of this kind of. Great and strange and haunting desire. He then decides to descend into the sow where maybe he can find the answers the meanings the symbols. Somber shadowy giant moth wings killed the splendid shine of the sun and on the opened magic book the dark horizon lies in silence. The Dank fumes of lower darkness
give off vapor stifling memory. He sinks into the unconscious and then the strange symbols begin to rise around him and he doesn't know what they mean. And unfortunately he never knows what they mean. There is no final knowing for PR 0 anymore than there ever was for Arnold Schoenberg. Only an absurd set of things which grow more or less clear depending on how much he was willing to yield himself to them. And in this absurdist world here is exactly where you think many Zomba were when Debussy was setting music to their plight in that decade between 1890 and not.
Ha that was a prayer to Piro the last one euro. I have forgotten my laughter. The image of splendor dissolved dissolve black wave is my banner now from my mast and we're back into the imagery of Tristan and Isolde. Give me once more a horse doctor of souls snowman of lyrics Moon's my heart just give me my laughter back Auden would say we are maybe in a sacred place it is in the presence of the sacred object where there is no humor. Well there we are in the dark. See the tides varing us in our subconscious we know not whither. And this is where we must begin again above the fresh ruffles of the surface bright striped urchins each other with sand. They have contrived a conquest for Shell shocks and their fingers crumble fragments of baked weed gaily digging and scattering and an answer to their trouble interjections the sun beats lightning on the waves the waves cold the Thunder on the sand and could they hear me I would tell them oh oh really and
kids frisk with your dog fondling your shells and sticks bleached by time and the elements. But there is a line you must not cross nor ever trust beyond it spry cordage of your bodies to caresses to lie hidden faithful from too wide a breathless at the bottom. See who'll hand. Yeah and yet this great wink of eternity of rimless floods this sea. That I suppose is what we need to look at next is an eternal sea the something else the big get out. Or is it after all only am I. This has been music and other four letter words. Featuring Paul Bana associate professor of music at the University of Utah
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Music and other four letter words
Episode Number
The Eternal Sea
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Music and other four letter words; 16; The Eternal Sea,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
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APA: Music and other four letter words; 16; The Eternal Sea. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from