Category Archives: Ariadne’s Notes

Ariadne’s Notes will update readers and participants on the World Poetry Site, special events, help needed and our goals for the future.

World Poetry Celebrates Barry Plamondon!

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: Special Book Launch for the talented and prolific poet Barry Plamonom , Jan 17, 1-2 pm PST on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM  now in its 21st year of being on the air. His 7th book  7 Fold by Silver Bow Press  was full of meaningful poems and in a fascinating interview , he said that his hearing senses and compassion had increased dramatically since his two strokes.  He also read some cowboy poems and talked about the Oregon trail which brought back stories from my grandmother about her great , great grandmother that walked the Oregon Train when she was 8 and refused to be giving a ride by her family in their wagon. When I had polio and was learning how to walk that story motivated me to keep on trying despite everyone telling me I would never walk again. 

LISTEN TO THIS  GREAT SHOW HERE! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Photo: Barry and his lovely wife at a previous World Poetry Radio show.

Barry writes:

“I was born in Penticton and
grew up in Vancouver. After high school I attended both U.B.C. and B.C.I.T.before obtaining a diploma in Practical 22Horticulture.I then worked for 20yrs. as a landscaper before2 strokes ended my career. After spending a yearin various hospitals and care homes I came home to find that I didn’t knowwhat to do with myself. I started writing poetry. There were many failuresbefore I wrote one about my daughter that I was proud of. It was like alight had been turned on,55 years of living just came pouring out onto thepages and I haven’t stopped yet. I self-published my first book “Thisn ‘That. Bric a Brace in Mar. 2016 and followed that with” Crackers and Crumbs” in Oct. This effort was published by Silver Bow Publishing. I am now on my 7th book.

I have resided in Maple Ridge with my wife and seven children for many years. I am proud to be a member of the Holy Wow Poets here. My hobbies and interests include hockey, gardening and listening to music. I did play the guitar for 30 years, but no longer. I also have a keen interest in nature, especially birds and plants. All these interests are reflected in my poetry as well as children and disability issues and sometimes a love poem or two. I have also written quite a few Cowboy poems The following is a fairly recent poem I have written entitled Ripples:

There is a ripple on the pond from the stone I cast. It is strong but cannot last. Only long enough to set the next one in motion. Together they would never cross the ocean. But they can lead by example.

Just a small sample. Of how things could go for people too. If each
said a simple “How do you do?”. To the strangers that they meet. At work or on the street. And if each in turn would pass it on. Maybe one day all hatred would be gone. 

 Barry wrote: “Hi Ariadne, here is the poem I just read on the radio show, The Old Tree. As well here is the second poem about Oregon Trail called The Longest Graveyard.”

THE OLD TREE
They left one lone Cedar standing
And the rest they trucked away to the mill
“See, we are not so bad” a company spokesman said
“At least we left one tree standing”
“Look how impressive it looks here by itself”
But the old tree did not see it that way
For the first time in centuries he was all alone
No companions to cast shade from the sun’s light
No other trees to keep the air fresh and moist around him
Not only this, but he was lonely now as well
Gone too was the undergrowth from around his trunk
The old fellow lasted a year before he started to decline
Brown scales fell like tears to the ground
And the bark from his massive trunk began to peel
Before long the old tree was no more
Just a brown wilted husk where once
A great giant Red Cedar had stood
“Well,” said the company official “we tried”
“Next time we’ll take the whole stand”
“Every single last tree!”

THE LONGEST GRAVEYARD
“Here lies an early traveler who lost his life in quest of riches in the west”
These the words found on a gravestone along the Oregon Trail
Thousands of would be settlers died on their way westward during the eighteen hundreds
Though most graves were never marked for fear of grave robbers
A person risked it all to go in search of the so called riches of the western frontier
Simply to fall could mean being trampled by the wagon behind you
Accidental gunshot wounds were all too common here
Cholera from contaminated water, bad weather and Indian attacks all caused numerous deaths
If you became sick or injured along the trail there was no doctor nearby,you were on your own
Still two hundred thousand brave souls started the trek westward
The majority reaching their destination in Oregon or California
Though many are the unmarked grave along the trail
Twenty five thousand people lie buried in America’s Longest Graveyard

Barry Plamondon (C) All rights reserved by author. 

 

 

World Poetry Celebrated Musician Devin Gray!

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: 

 

 Ariadne’s Notes: On January 10, at 1:30 PM PST  the World Poetry Café Radio Show CFRO 100.5 FM   welcomed  the talented drummer-Composer Devin Gray celebrating the  second album, Dirigo Rataplan II, with performances in Belgium, the UK and Switzerland. Featuring his all-star quartet Dirigo Rataplan with Ellery Eskelin, Michael Formanek and Dave Ballou. for more info: http://devingraymusic.com/ Also, a gentleman frim Switzerland wrote in to tell us that he attended their European concert and he really enjoyed it and was excited about Devin coming on the show! This was really exciting!

It was a fascinating show, delving into the intricacies of composing and the personal attention to detail and the need to put mind, body and soul into each composition. Also discussed was the difficulty of making a career out of it at this time when it is so hard to make a living creating and playing Jazz.   This show is a MUST Hear for composers , musicians and creators.

TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW, CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

There are times when music lovers can just feel a talent coming into his or her own, when that artist is someone to catch onstage or on record at every opportunity. Drummer-composer Gray has arrived at such a moment. The Brooklyn-based artist made his leader debut in 2012 with the Skirl Records release Dirigo Rataplan, which featured him fronting the eponymous band with Eskelin, Formanek and Ballou, each a master improviser renowned far and wide among fans of creative music. Cadence magazine declared that initial disc to be “fantastic,” while JazzTimes said that Gray’s debut represented “the work of a young artist who knows who he is.”

Now, after six years of intensive experience as a leader and sideman on both sides of the Atlantic, Gray has reconvened this all-star group for Dirigo Rataplan II, released on CD, vinyl, digitally and for streaming via Rataplan Records on Sept. 21, 2018. Time Out New York has praised Gray’s compositions for balancing “formal elasticity with a meticulous sense of pacing.” The new album brims with more earworm melody, richly implied harmony and a loose-limbed sense of rhythm as something physical and flowing – as blood, as breath. Fans of jazz from Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill to Dave Holland and Craig Taborn will dig this organic mix of composition and improvisation, structure and freedom, atmosphere and dynamism.

About the evolution of Dirigo Rataplan and his writing for the band, Gray says: “I’ve become more at ease with following my natural artistic impulses. The experiences I’ve had over the past six years have been so inspiring – in the intense, ultra-energized New York jazz scene, of course, but also in Europe, where players in improvised music are so open to different genres and have this holistic approach to art and creativity. With Dirigo Rataplan II, there is more free improvisation in the music, but I also think the melodic fluidity between the composition and the improvisation is more seamless, with one flowing into the other in a way that I really like. This music is personal for me, but I want Mike, Ellery and Dave to do what it is they do, to maximize the pieces in the way that I know they can.”

About working with Gray, Formanek says: “Devin has grown as a composer since that first quartet recording session in 2011, but most important, he has a much more evolved sense of who he is as a musician, and also of who we are in the band as improvisers. These instincts take time to develop, and it has been great to see that process unfold in both his playing and his composing. This music is free and open with a lot of room for improvisation, but the tunes also have an intrinsic rhythmic and melodic character to them, a color and energy. With the quartet having played together more now, the sessions for the new album felt even better.”

For Gray, what is most vital about Formanek “is not just that his tone and sense of time are so incredible. It’s also that he cares so much about doing whatever he can to ensure the quality of the music in front of him. He’s a composer’s improviser, in that way. I feel this total, unspoken trust with him.” About Eskelin, Gray says: “Ellery sets the bar so high for improvisation. The fluidity of his solos, the intense forward motion – that’s what New York musicians have more than anyone else.” Regarding Ballou, the drummer adds: “I’ve known Dave’s playing intimately since I was a kid. I don’t think he has ever sounded better, with that beautiful tone and wide palette of expression. He brings a strong interpretive sense to my music in that he anticipates what I’m looking for, yet via his own sensibility. Working with cats like this, you don’t have to worry about individualism – it’s in everything they do. They bring what are just notes on a page to real life.”

Reflecting further on Dirigo Rataplan II, Gray concludes: “I don’t set out to make jazz records, per se. I set out to make music, period – to capture the moment, the contemporary feel of the music, hoping that it can reflect in some small way how we live now and what we all have to deal with as human beings in the world.”

In addition to Dirigo Rataplan, Devin Gray leads the quartet Relative Resonance, featuring Chris Speed, Kris Davis and Chris Tordini. Reviewing that band’s eponymous Skirl Records album, All About Jazz said: “The vitality of Relative Resonance can’t be denied… the music here literally sparkles with wit and resourcefulness.” On record, Gray has also led his Cloudsounds trio (with Ingrid Laubrock and Corey Smythe) and his quartet Fashionable Pop Music (with Tordini, Jonathan Goldberger and Ryan Ferreira). He recently released a hard-grooving digital single fronting his quartet Meta Cache with Jeremy Viner, Elias Stemeseder and Kim Cass.

As a sideman, Gray has recorded recent albums as part of Nate Wooley’s Argonautica sextet, trumpeter Daniel Levine’s trio Knuckleball (with Marc Hannaford) and a trio led by pianist Santiago Leibson (with Drew Gress). Of late, the drummer has played with Dave Liebman and Tony Malaby, along with touring Europe at the head of a trio with Speed and Gress. Gray’s recent collaborators also include Gerald Cleaver, Uri Caine, Andrea Parkins, Satoko Fuji, Richard Bonnet, Daniel Guggenheim, Marc Ducret, Frank Gratkowski, Jacob Anderskov, Eve Risser and Susana Santos Silva.

All About Jazz gave the recording four stars and called it “a high-flying, breathtaking slice of up-to-the-minute jazz from four musicians at the top of their games.”

Source and thanks to Braitwaite and Katz. 

 

 

 

World Poetry Celebrates The Great Michael Mirolla!

 

Ariadne’s Notes: I am back on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM  after a three weeks break. Thanks to Victor Swartzman and Diego Bastinutti for keeping the show going. We have been going through a lot of challenges with our electrical problems and are now in a hotel for an extended time. I am doing my best to keep up with all the wonderful e-mails and offers of help and prayers. Please be patient with me. I had hope to launch WP Media with correspondents from all over the world but will need to postpone this.

Last week, we had the honour of having an amazing  guest call in and to help us celebrate our 21st year of being on the air. Michael read his poems talked about his life and even answered a question from a 14 year old Nigerian boy who wanted his advise about writing. The answer was greatly appreciated by the young man who sends his thanks.  Also, we want to welcome Michael  Mirolla as the new writer in residence at the famed Joy  Kogawa house starting in November and hope we can do a welcome program for him.

*Photo: Happy New Year from Afghan Peace Poet Mahmood Jan in Kabul.

PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS SPECIAL SHOW HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mirolla is the author of a clutch of novels, poetry collections, short story collections, and plays. He is a three-time winner of the Bressani Literary Prize. His novel Berlin was a finalist for the Indie and National Book Awards. The short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology; and “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. Born in Italy, raised in Montreal, Michael now lives in Oakville, Ontario. For more information: http://www.michaelmirolla.com. For an old WP Link:http://worldpoetry.ca/?p=11150

To a poet struggling to recover her words

Please note: this is not a metaphor.

In the spongy grey room, walls reticulated,
bony chair bolted to upheaving floor,
spotlight at 10 flickers per minute,
she sits. There’s a hole in the side
of her head. There’s a hole where they
extracted the over-eager building blocks,
the out-of-control tidbits of DNA.
The incisions were precise, one must assume.
But it didn’t prevent the words … her words …
from escaping into the sterile air.

Now, a saintly smile framing her face,
she sits in the bony chair inside
the spongy grey room with reticulated walls
and reaches out to recapture
the stray letters that may or may not
have survived without her tender care.

I sit across from her, spoon-feeding
alphabet strands into a hungry mouth
fearful that the words that have kept her whole
that have defined her
that connect her to herself
that have built this grey room
will be unable to make the return journey.

Please note: This has not been a metaphor. 

Also, he read the following  poem which is a favorite since I remember siting in a cave listening to my dad read Plato (The Cave)  to us.

In The Cave of Lost Language

When rifling the pockets that hold
the day in thrall there is always
some thing that slips through the fingers.
No matter how tightly we grip
the fabric. Or fingernail dig
into its deepest corners. Is it
possible the contents change each time
we reach in? Or does the pocket
itself become altered by the hand
as it latches onto a fistful
of what was previously there
but is no more?

And then, one day
without warning, from hand to mouth,
the familiar phrases themselves
decide to come and go as they please,
shape shifting before they disappear.
And you’re prone to ask: What was … what is …
that word once so strong, so anchored
now fluttering out the window
like a stale balloon’s flaccid breath?

At first, you tell yourself: Worry
not. So what if within your grasp
“brother” of a sudden becomes
anaia and “crow” re-turns
to belex? As long as one word
simply morphs into another.
As long as reaching down dislodges
those helpful phrases you can use
as place-holders for who you might be:
wolf/hirpus tongue/osvache. As long
as those scratches, familiar or not,
re-appear on the wall at day’s end.

There is that comfort of finding
something … anything, is there not?
Until your hand comes up empty,
an open palm holding a blank space.
And your heart stutters and you grope
about in your Kline bottle pocket
in search of one word … one fragment
that you can inscribe … just one clue
that’ll keep you from vanishing.

Michael Mirolla (C) All rights reserved by the author.