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Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Von Junzt (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2005 08:28PM
Having just finished reading the influencial metaphysical tract/Atlantean tale "The Dweller on Two Planets" by Frederick S. Oliver, I am absolutely taken aback as to how similar in both theme and writing style this work is to that of Clark Ashton Smith, especially with regard to his Poseidonis tales. Does anyone out there know if the work, which was written in 1905 by a native Californian, no less, had any influence on the work of ol' Klarkash-Ton? If so, then this would make for a fascinating essay from one of the esteemed CAS scholars of these forums, don't you think?

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Boyd (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2005 08:44PM
I find no reference for it in anything I have on CAS but that does not mean he didn't read it.


For those interested you can read it online here:


A Dweller on Two Planets

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Von Junzt (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2005 10:48PM
Thanks for the research on your part, Boyd. I just thought of a possible way that CAS might of come in contact with Oliver's work. Well, as it happens, Oliver's "Dweller on Two Planets" apparently made quite the impression on the famed mystic Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Soceity, who in turn is said to have influenced CAS' writing somewhat, especially with respect to his Poseidonis yarns.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Tortha (IP Logged)
Date: 13 July, 2005 09:38AM
I have a question about "The Dweller on Two Planets".
Is it also entitled "The Dweller on Two Planets or The Dividing of the Way"?
Are there two versions, one written by Oliver, another written by (Phylos?)? Or is Oliver writing as Phylos?
I'm confused.
Thanks

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 13 July, 2005 12:21PM

I do not recall ever discussing Oliver with Clark - however, if any of his works were in the Auburn Carnegie library, he had certainly read them.

May I take this moment dear friends to suggest that if you have any questions of this sort which might jog my memory, soon is a very good time to ask them. The medications I take relative to my heart transplant, plus just aging, are showing signs now and then of a diminution of my powers. Halfway through the Bach-Busoni Chaconne yesterday, my hands forget where to go; in a political discussion recently I couldn't remember a citation and name (at least at first). In writing a response to Phil today, my memory was jogged about Grimm's Fairy Tales, and Clark and I discussing them - I had just read a student's intriguing paper on Robert Frost as a poet of Fear to him, and that led us off - but it takes some little something to make the old memories kick in. Now is the time to ask. When I am gone, only DSF will be left, and his acquaintance with Clark was minimal, and when Don goes(though he is still in great shape at 72), the last personal intellectual contact with Clark will be gone. Our discussions were wide ranging, and the most memorable have been recorded either here, or in discussions with Scott and Ron, or in my memoir in the
"Sword of Zagan" -- but there are other matters that don't leap to the fore at first but can be evoked by your stimulating and interesting questions and observations.
I will be glad to help, if i can.
The fact that Clark and I did not discuss some writer or theme, does not, of course mean that he did not discuss it elsewhere or with someone else. You all surely know that the CAS of the 20's was not the same man I knew in the 50's, so analyses of Clark based on his early writings, will never give you a definitive answer as to where he landed philosophically.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Boyd (IP Logged)
Date: 13 July, 2005 04:32PM
oh come on, we are all dying, the island I live on may sink any moment, stop being such a Drama Queen granddad. But if you require prodding, tell us about CAS and woman or drugs, you know the important things.

Also did he ever read Kafka?
Say anything about Shakespeare?
Laugh at the Christians?
Speculate on life after death?
Watch the night skies for aliens?
Get freaked out by the 1938 War of the Worlds radio play?


Poke poke,
B.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: voleboy (IP Logged)
Date: 13 July, 2005 04:44PM
Boyd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Laugh at the Christians?

Ah yes, one of the best things about being an atheist IMO. It can be such fun to watch them squirm!


*Author of Strange Gardens [www.lulu.com]


*Editor of Calenture: a Journal of Studies in Speculative Verse [calenture.fcpages.com]

*Visit my homepage: [voleboy.freewebpages.org]

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 13 July, 2005 06:56PM
Quote:
You all surely know that the CAS of the 20's was not the same man I knew in the 50's, so analyses of Clark based on his early writings, will never give you a definitive answer as to where he landed philosophically.

Did his fundamental views on philosophical matters really change that much? I hope not. I freely confess my bias--pace Harriet Monroe and others of that ilk--that the young CAS, who existed very much "outside the human aquarium", attained a wisdom that few could achieve in several lifetimes. In any case, in these matters, as in so many others, change is not necessarily progress or improvement (much as we are conditioned to believe otherwise). A moi the "Ode to the Abyss"! *chuckles*



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13 Jul 05 | 07:04PM by Kyberean.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: hplscentury (IP Logged)
Date: 16 July, 2005 07:59AM
Calonlan wrote:

> May I take this moment dear friends to suggest
> that if you have any questions of this sort which
> might jog my memory, soon is a very good time to
> ask them.

Well, one question I have is about CAS and his French ancestry: did he think it very important and base any of what he did on it? When you look at the picture they've chosen at this French CAS site, it's clear he could have passed for French:

[klarkashton.free.fr]

What did he think of Rabelais, Huysmans, Balzac, Gautier, Sade, Lautrťamont, Apollinaire, Louˇs et al?

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 18 July, 2005 12:22PM

"Drama Queen?" - come now lad, I am no kind of Queen at all -- but I have lived already 8 years beyond expectations - yes everyone begins to die the day they are born, but rest assured, very few take it seriously - I have no fear of it at all -- been there, done that, got the T-shirt - but failing memory is worse than failing libido, or the ability to go leaping about the great stones in the American river canyon as in bygone days - I only hope to live to see the last film adaptation of the last Harry Potter book - that should give me another 20 -

As to your questions: Of couse he had read Kafka, liked it OK, but not worth a second read --
Laugh at Christians: Not per se, but folk who are trivial, pompous, self-righteous, and ignorant, officious etc. His respect for authentic Christianity (a phenomenom very few are aware of, especially those who find amusing the most potent movement in world history, from which nearly all the great art, architecture, literature and music are derived), was profound - I have mentioned elsewhere his reading of the works of Robert Graves, which I would recommend to those who have neither the time nor access to the vast library of ancient documents (most of which are not available in translation) to provide an introduction to the subject. If by "christian" one is referring to the puerile maunderings of the televangelist, had such creatures existed, Clark would simply have ignored them, save for holding in contempt those who are such blatant scam artists - I write of this matter somewhat in my memoir -

Speculate on life after death -- for amusement, Clark and I would joke about what we might like to come back as (ala Hinduism) -- in seriousness, utter oblivion in the sense of total absorption or union with the ultimate as in Nirvana, recommended itself conceptually -- the practices of that religion did not excite his interest, as the notion that one "earns" divine favor by his works made no sense to him. One must never forget that Clark's earliest exposure to life was at the late Glory of Victorian Era - If you would know what that meant to the son of and Englishman and a southern Belle, it is necessary to consult an old issue of the "Book of Common Prayer" of the Anglican church - that culture suffused society, not as something "put on" like a garment, but in the very air one breathed.
Fundamentally, Clark held self-importance, and pomposity in contempt (paricularly in journalism), but the strongly held beliefs of people of any religion? Never a subject for laughter (by which he would have meant "sarcasm", not "satire"). Clark's view was that sarcasm was born of hate, and has no desire to heal - satire is born of a love that desires to rectify or purify a good thing gone sour. Sarcasm is the most shallow form of criticism in that it requires an audience of those already in agreement to be found funny - roughly the same level of humor as that of grade school boys bathroom jokes - (which he spoke of most sadly after a day of being subjected to it by a Sully grandchild while cutting wood one day - we discussed this whole business over wine coolers that following weekend (the wine cooler was Loomis burgundy with water - half and half - over ice in a common tumbler -- in the yard at Marilyn Novaks in Newcastle under the Oaks - what good times they were.

Watching the skies for UFOS? no -

Freaked out by Orson Welles, War of the Worlds broadcast - Clark didn't have a radio, or electricity in 1938 - In that part of California, only in town was there any power.
He never lived with electric power until he married and moved to Pacific Grove. On the other hand, my parents had a brief period of alarm on that occasion - I was 2 weeks old, my recollection is dim for that event. A few years later, a radio program called "Inner Sanctum" used to scare the daylights out of me. After one particularly chilling tale, I wouldn't let my grandmother move the dial toward that end of the radio even for a month at any time of day. Radio, in many ways, worked more powerfully on the imagination that Television or film (except the films of Eisenstein,Welles, Bergman and a few others).

An additional post here asks about his "Frenchness" - Clark had seen photos of Rimbaud and Baudelaire and other writers, and his moustache and beret, vest and jacket were part of his "persona" as an artist, and adopted after his time with Sterling in the bay area - same goes for the cigaretter holder. He also "hung out" in the working class bars (the Happy Hour his favorite), and was beloved as a local character, and therefore insulated from the derision he found in the "respectable" parts of Auburn society.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 18 July, 2005 07:32PM
Quote:
authentic Christianity (a phenomenom very few are aware of, especially those who find amusing the most potent movement in world history, from which nearly all the great art, architecture, literature and music are derived), was profound

With which the greatest architects, writers, musicians, and artists had to make their peace, or face the auto-da-fe, or by which they were brainwashed within their culture, would be a rather more accurate statement.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 19 July, 2005 11:34AM
Dear Kyberean - please don't waste our time.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 19 July, 2005 03:00PM
Calonlan:

One time-wasting, off-topic aside deserves another--or is that solely your privilege? And, please, spare me the royal first person.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19 Jul 05 | 03:01PM by Kyberean.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: hplscentury (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2005 01:52PM
calonlan wrote:

> only hope to live to see the last film adaptation
> of the last Harry Potter book - that should give
> me another 20 -

If you like Harry Potter (never read them myself), you might like some of these "HP in the style of...". There's Lovecraft, Poe, Chaucer, Sappho (easy to guess what that will be like), Terry Pratchett, etc:

The Alternative Potter

If only

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2005 08:46AM
Never heard of Pratchett - the others are old friends, --

My wife and I like "Harry" as a delightful spoof on English Public Schools, and the notions (prisoner of Azkaban) that the cure for depression is chocolate -
But then, we use Bombay Gin as tribute to Travis McGee

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: hplscentury (IP Logged)
Date: 26 July, 2005 07:28PM
calonlan Wrote:

> Never heard of Pratchett

Then you're very lucky. Imagine a third-rate Douglas Adams parodying a fifth-rate Tolkien. Or rather: don't.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 30 July, 2005 10:20AM

Interesting comparison - I am devoted to Doug Adams (RIP) - my brother sent me Marvin as a screen saver (had to finally remove it though - Alan Rickman repeating
"I'm so Depressed" got to her) --
Actually at this point in my life I find that I am generally re-reading the books that I have found most rewarding over again in a two year cycle - I also have a group that gathers in a little Taqueria to discuss Shakespeare, and read his stuff -(currently The Tempest is under discussion) - I have introduced these chaps to CAS, and they are passing this on to their students at the Univ. and Comm Coll level.
I also have a group about to do read through "On borrowed Time" - a charming
book,play, movie - (which, incidentally, delighted Clark), and "Shadowlands" -
For extra fun, several talented folk are gathering at my place to begin production of a show we will call "Opera, for people who hate Opera" - performing some fun scenes with commentary - pardon the ramble, but thought perhaps you might share some of your wider intellectual pursuits as well -
drf

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: voleboy (IP Logged)
Date: 30 July, 2005 04:53PM
calonlan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> pardon the ramble, but thought perhaps you might
> share some of your wider intellectual pursuits as
> well -
> drf

Chris: Brennan is up there. Helps to be writing a bibliography and concordance of him. So's Victor Daley. I'm transcribing his poems onto the internet, on my homepage.

For fun, I'm reading up on banned films, and Germaine Greer on the boy, as well as Todorov on the fantastic. I'm waiting on some books for work.



*Author of Strange Gardens [www.lulu.com]


*Editor of Calenture: a Journal of Studies in Speculative Verse [calenture.fcpages.com]

*Visit my homepage: [voleboy.freewebpages.org]

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: hplscentury (IP Logged)
Date: 31 July, 2005 01:35PM
calonlan wrote:

> For extra fun, several talented folk are gathering
> at my place to begin production of a show we will
> call "Opera, for people who hate Opera" -
> performing some fun scenes with commentary -
> pardon the ramble, but thought perhaps you might
> share some of your wider intellectual pursuits as
> well -

I'd much rather hear about CAS's musical tastes. What sort of music did he like? Did he play an instrument?



Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 31 July, 2005 04:52PM

Clark did not play an instrument - although we occasionally joked about playing organs - he liked my limerick:

as Mozart composed a sonata,
His maid bent to straighten her garter,
He wrote down with sighs
as he glanced up her thighs,
"Un poco piu appassionata!"

If you check the memoir in "Zagan", you will find reference to the musical milieu of Auburn with which Clark was connected. The Sully family, Marion in particular, were all quite musical, and Clark heard a lot of very respectable stuff performed at their home, and occasionally in other venues in town (churches, school auditoriums, etc). I know that he enjoyed the String quartets and solo, duet, trio works of Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart. I had the pleasure of sharing with him on an old Wollensak reel to reel, a pirated (from rehearsel) performance of the Mahler 6th with Berlin and von Karajan. We played it through twice - myself having translated the German -
"Das Ewig Weiblische, ist uns ein gleichnis..." et al. I also had a reel to reel of myself playing all of the Chopin Etudes - He particularly liked the "Ocean" and the "Revolutionary"; unfortunately, we never were together in a place with a decent piano, so I never was able to play some of the preludes and nocturnes I was sure he would have liked - take that back - I did knock out the eminor one time at the Count's chalet, then sang "Maddamina" from Don Giovanni - the aria that describes the hundreds of lovers Don Juan had all over Europe, "ma in Espana, cangiar mille e
tre" (In spain, a thousand and three) - great sport over the joke on pious Spain.
Clark had also known the Count's wife, opera star Inez Marie Koster (umlaut over the
'O') - and had heard her vocalizing and singing many times when he was out picking fruit for the Portuguese farmer next door to the Count's place.
Thanks for making me think a little - Other things may come to mind, given a little time, if I think of them I'll let you know if you are interested.
drf

Even as I'm about to post, I remembered that, Clark attended with me a performance at the Methodist church by my voice teacher, Oratorio artist Frank Pursell. Frank was considered the foremost Bass in this genre in the country, but this concert was special since he sang it nearly blind - He was one of the first to undergo cataract surgery, and in those days, you had to let them close completely before they could operate - then you had three pairs of glasses (included the coke-bottle thick ones); so when Frank sang "It is enough, O Lord now take away my life!" from Mendelsohn's Elijah, the power and pathos of the performance moved us all and Clark in particular as we discussed this piece all the way back to his place - both he and Carol were overcome with it. Part of the impact of the performance was due to Frank's great presence and authority in the performance - the modern basso, Sam Ramey, looks just like him (Sam is an old friend from my days at the NYCity opera, and is nearing the end of his career -- we will be seeing him in November at Houston Opera singing Boris - and I mention that because I recall in our conversation that Clark mentioned having heard an old '78 of Chaliapin singing Boris one time at the Sully's.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: hplscentury (IP Logged)
Date: 1 August, 2005 04:48PM
calonlan wrote:

> I know that he enjoyed the String quartets
> and solo, duet, trio works of Bach, Vivaldi,
> Mozart.

The best of CAS's work has a perfection and necessity that remind me of baroque music: not a syllable is wasted and not a syllable is unneeded.

> I had the pleasure of sharing with him on
> an old Wollensak reel to reel, a pirated (from
> rehearsel) performance of the Mahler 6th with
> Berlin and von Karajan.

Not so sure about Mahler. That's more HPL: dissonant and alien(ated). REH would be Wagner or wilder Beethoven.

What you said about the bass reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan, who always seem at their best writing for that part. Did CAS, and do you, enjoy G&S?

And go on: answer Kyberean's question. It's a good one, and remember Blake: "Damn braces; bless relaxes."

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 1 August, 2005 08:52PM

what do you mean you are not sure about Mahler - particularly the 6th -?
You must not assume that you know Clark (or indeed any writer) entirely from his works - Mahler is cosmic in the sweep of his tonality, the magnitude of the sound alone, two orchestras, two choruses, two sets of soloists with sopranos hurling High c's at each other and a children's chorus in the middle? Huge, overpowering, glorious - and Clark loved wallowing in the sound as I did. 2d - basses in G & S - The best of G&S is tenor stuff - I love, and have sung almost all of it on stage, except Iolanthe - I shared with him one time the little tenor ditty from Trial by Jury - "when first my old, old love I knew" as well as the Judge's big aria, "when I good friends, was called to the bar..."
merely because I was performing them at the time, and they are good for a laugh. Beyond that, I could not say CAS was a fan - someone may have inevitably done "Pinafore" at some time in Auburn, but whether he knew it or not I have no idea - He was not prone to the trivial in music, but rather the reflective, or the profound, as in the works I mentioned.

As to your last request, I humbly abjure.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: hplscentury (IP Logged)
Date: 4 August, 2005 04:45AM
calonlan wrote:

> > what do you mean you are not sure about Mahler -
> particularly the 6th -?
> You must not assume that you know Clark (or indeed
> any writer) entirely from his works - Mahler is
> cosmic in the sweep of his tonality, the magnitude
> of the sound alone, two orchestras, two choruses,
> two sets of soloists with sopranos hurling High
> c's at each other and a children's chorus in the
> middle? Huge, overpowering, glorious - and Clark
> loved wallowing in the sound as I did.

"Come into my parlour,"
Said the spider to the fly;
"We'll listen to some Mahler,
And honestly -- you'll die..."

He sounds a bit noisy for me, as well as for flies. You're right about tenors in G&S too.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 4 Aug 05 | 04:47AM by hplscentury.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 4 August, 2005 10:28AM

With any choral symphony, understanding the words is essential - and understanding that the orchestra is not accompaniment to the choir - the chorus and soloists are integral instrumental parts of the whole - I think there is a Bernstein recording of this piece, one of the last things he did in fact; mounting such a huge production requires the clout that only a Bernstein could have wielded. Visit the Prokofief
"Alexander Nevsky" Cantata (the old Eisenstein film is a treasure, though the sound is poor), Tom Schippers recorded this brilliantly in the '60's I think. Read
Robert Graves' "The White Goddess", then go back and listen to the Mahler again -
I think you will see what I mean -- actually helps to have immense scenery out the window as well (or close the eyes, and visit the far greater distances within).

Also, it's probably wise to do these kinds of things when still young, since, if you really get into the music, the physical and emotional demands are easier to endure.
At this point in my life, I might need my cardiologist standing by -- I'm one of those who is dangerous on the highway if a great piece comes on the radio -- my wife has been known to switch the radio to some generic pop station from the classical station to keep me on the road. I do in fact seat myself at the focal point of my speaker system, crank it up full blast, and enjoy the 'G' forces. Just recently took a couple of young friends through "Das Rheingold" - the Solti recordings -
What fun!
I have often thought the "Hashish Eater" could have been done thematically by Mahler.
Don Fryer does this I believe with his base lute. Much of Clark's work lends itself to accompaniment in the bardic tradition - especially pieces like 'Not altogether sleep' - some of the very modern synthesizer treatments might work as well - though it seems difficult for some musicians to let the poem lead, as opposed to dominating the poem by deliberate bizarre tonalities (these can work, I think, but must not be an end in themselves). Some time back I recall this site or ZN heard from some musicians who were attempting these kinds of things; perhaps we could hear from them again, or anyone who is so gifted?

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 4 August, 2005 11:06AM
One correction that should be added here - with apologies to everyone if this has already been addressed and I have just overlooked it - is the identification of Mahler's vast choral symphony based on the Hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus" and the final scene of Goethe's FAUST: this work is not that composer's 6th Symphony, but his 8th. I have not yet heard a convincing recording of the work - had held out high hopes for the Chailly, but that one disappointed me as well.

The Schippers recording of Prokofiev's ALEXANDER NEVSKY is my favorite recording of the work and has appeared as both a CD and SACD from Sony over the past few years, yoked with his recording of Mussourgsky's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION.

Jim

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 4 August, 2005 06:58PM

You are absoluely correct about the ID - my "senior moment" - it is the 8th, not the 6th. My reel to reel rehearsel tape is the best performance I have heard, even with an occasional glitch, such as a soprano running out of gas - Poet Harold Holden
had acquired this tape illicitly recorded by a plain old recorder snuck in - no fancy set up for mikes etc., but in the 50's, just about as good as hi-fi, and stereo was quite new - (I remember the first nationwide stereo radio broadcast which required two radios, one tuned to AM, one to FM broadcasting simultaneously to achieve stereo -- everyone gathered in my dorm room to listen -revolutionary).
Harold made a copy for me. In spite of that, it is magnificent. I have not followed any attempts at it since the Bernstein - which is technically good, but lacks what an old kraut like von Karajan (who knew Mahler) could give. Reminds me momentarily of Tom Lehrer's delightful satire on Alma Mahler (Groepius, Werfel) who was the lover of practically every creative genius of the latter 19th century and early 20th and managed to marry 3 of them.
Of course the cost of mounting the thing is just too great -- so costly rehearsel time is limited - it will take some funding such as emerged for Peter Jackson's efforts in LOTR when the financiers themselves told him he ought to do three shows and blew his mind. Unlimited funds, the New York and the Chicago, with the Westminster Choir College Chorale, The SF Opera Chorus, The Vienna Boy Choir,
Peggy Fleming, Laura Claypool, Jessye Norman, Marilyn van Horne, Marcello Giordani,
Ermanno Mauro, Sam Ramey, Niccola Rossi-Lemini (if still alive) and myself conducting, or, in case I'm busy, Philip Kelsey - That would be my dream performance.
Phil Kelsey was a student of mine, and last I heard was director of the Seattle Opera, and has conducted Wagner's Ring cycle, and Boris Godonov, as well as the Nevsky, and understands the music.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 5 August, 2005 01:16AM
Calonlan wrote:

Quote:
Some time back I recall this site or ZN heard from some musicians who were attempting these kinds of things; perhaps we could hear from them again

You may not be referring to me, among others, but I know that I've mentioned here in the past having based a work of electronic music of mine on "Ubbo-Sathla". You and I even tried to correspond about it a while ago with regard to something Donald Sidney-Fryer was doing, but we ceased, for some reason. In any case, my "Ubbo-Sathla" is strictly an instrumental interpretation of the theme, and is completely clear of the text itself.

Anyway, apologies for butting in if that's not what you intended. I certainly intend to use CAS's work as a source of future inspiration, but I doubt that I would ever use text recitations, since human language, even CAS's, would anchor the work too heavily to the Earth.


Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 6 August, 2005 11:07AM

I believe you are correct about the music reference; I was probably interrupted by some event like a biopsy, or some other invasive procedure - possibly my wife's knee replacement - or as likely, my week in New Orleans just before Mardi Gras --!

I recall finding your experimental work quite interesting. Natheless, a musical setting in which the poem is one of several voices, rather than the principal voice, could be quite and insightful new look at Clark's work.

For older examples in a classical mode, look no further than Kirsten Flagstad's
performance of the "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde - The piece works beautfully without the voice - but the voice elevates it to the celestial - as though some essential ingredient was missing, but you didn't know it until it was added.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 6 August, 2005 08:17PM
Quote:
I recall finding your experimental work quite interesting. Natheless, a musical setting in which the poem is one of several voices, rather than the principal voice, could be quite and insightful new look at Clark's work.

I'm glad that you found it to be of interest. My strictures notwithstanding, I have considered a few options for setting CAS's poetry to my sort of music. One was, as you suggested, to use multiple voices, but with appropriate electronic treatment, to retain the otherworldly element, much as Ligeti's choral works evoke the supernal. I have also used samples of boys' and girls' choirs in my work, granulating a simple "ooh" into weird textures. Food for thought, at any rate.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 6 August, 2005 09:42PM



Boy choir music or voices could provide some very interesting effects for any number of pieces I can think of - the star treader itself certainly is evocative of Ligeti.
If you make some of your work available, I would be interested to hear it and give it some serious thought re CAS --

Genius Loci, and Xeethra come to mind as really serious prospects -
the Dweller in Gulf - wow - just as themes for wordless expression - go for it!

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 7 August, 2005 12:47PM
Quote:
If you make some of your work available, I would be interested to hear it and give it some serious thought re CAS

Of course. Aside from my forthcoming CD release, and, sad, to say, Ubbo-Sathla, which is out of print, my other CDs are available. My decision to interpret the tale "Ubbo-Sathla" was inspired by hearing a recording of an alligator's bellow. For me, it evoked the primordial slime and immemorial atavisms so well described in this story, and is the sound that opens the piece.

Quote:
Genius Loci, and Xeethra come to mind as really serious prospects -
the Dweller in Gulf - wow - just as themes for wordless expression - go for it!

I find many of CAS's works to be ripe for musical interpretation, and I suspect that they will always provide an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me. One thing that I would like to see would be a CAS tribute compilation disc of electronic music pieces inspired by different works of CAS, along the lines of the Outsider tribute to Lovecraft, to which I also contributed.

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: voleboy (IP Logged)
Date: 7 August, 2005 05:15PM
Kyberean Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> One thing that I would like to see would be a CAS tribute
> compilation disc of electronic music pieces inspired by different
> works of CAS, along the lines of the Outsider
> tribute to Lovecraft, to which I also contributed.

Would it just have to be just electronic? I would happily love to see kunstlieder of works by CAS, and, if I had time to experiment, and equipment, I would delightedly contribute something involving audio tea leafery and text.


*Author of Strange Gardens [www.lulu.com]


*Editor of Calenture: a Journal of Studies in Speculative Verse [calenture.fcpages.com]

*Visit my homepage: [voleboy.freewebpages.org]

Re: Frederick S. Oliver - Clark Ashton Smith Connection?
Posted by: Kyberean (IP Logged)
Date: 7 August, 2005 07:44PM
Quote:
Would it just have to be just electronic?

Well, that's what I have in mind, because that's what I do, but those who specialize in other areas are certainly welcome to try to organize a similar project.



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