The World Poetry Cafe radio show, CFRO 100.5 FM July 1:30 pm PST welcomed the talented Claire Ritter celebrating the debut of the new CD Eclipse Orange with legendary Ran Blake. It was a delight to talk to her and hear her describe her work and experiences. It was also fun to hear her accent since some of my ancestors came from the Carolinas and I had not heard it for a long time.
It includes a tribute at 1:10 PM PST for World Poetry Ambassador to Japan, poet and composer Yoshifumi Sakura. Also, beautiful poems from the Greek poet ILIAS FOUKIS.
American jazz master, composer/pianist/educator Claire Ritter, is a multiple award recipient, and “among the most successful Thirdstream synthesis of jazz & classical musics” author Ed Hazel/ Wikipedia encyclopedia. In 2014 Ritter was the recipient of an artist grant awarded by the NC Arts & Science Council, her third, as well as a previous NC Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship. AllAboutJazz describes Ritter as “an under sung jazz master, with each engaging melody buffed up like a little jewel”. JazzTimes notes the music as “painterly, exquisite & poetic”. Beginning with the great Mary Lou Williams at Duke University in the 1970s, Ritter has studied, worked, performed & recorded with the best, which includes over a decade with MacArthur Grant Genius recipient Ran Blake at New England Conservatory of Boston, where she taught her contemporary songwriting class in the Contemporary Improvisation department during the 1990s. The economic song-like quality & harmonic sophistication of her tunes are hallmarks of Ritter’s style, described by Owen Cordle, writer for JazzTimes/News & Observer as “direct, succinct & skillful – like the NC born pianist/composer, Thelonious Monk’s style.
Claire Ritter is the author of over 200 compositions, most of which have been published and recorded; and performed in festivals, concert halls, and museums in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Her work has been the subject of numerous publications & radio interviews on WGBH Boston, WHRB Harvard University, WBUR Boston, & WFAE Charlotte, and has been recorded on European labels Soul Note, HatArt, and the independent label Zoning Recordings, founded in Boston in honor of a major work by Mary Lou Williams. Ritter’s compositions have been recorded by internationally acclaimed Jazz artists including Steve Swallow, Dave Holland, Ran Blake, Dominique Eade, Stan Strickland, Christine Correa, Ricky Ford, Jon Metzger, and Franz Koglmann, as well as performed in concert halls including Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Festival at NEC, American Women Composers Boston, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Brandeis University Jazz Band, New England Conservatory Jazz-Thirdstream Festival, Josef Matthias Haur Konservatorium, Osterreichischen Museum in Europe, Multicultural Arts Center in Boston, Queens University, 2014 Charlotte New Music Festival, and Central Piedmont Community College 21st Century Music Series & Tate Hall Music Series in Charlotte, NC, to name a few.
Ritter’s discography includes 12 CD/DVD recordings on Zoning Recordings: In Between (Ran Blake, Dave Holland, Dominique Eade/1988); Ain’t Life a Circus (Christine Correa, Stan Strickland/1991); Mistral (by Eleni Odoni, with Ran Blake/1991); At One (Taki Masuko/1994); True (Taki Masuko, Kaku Sato/ 1998); Castles in the Air (Steve Swallow/2001); River of Joy (Steve Swallow, Ran Blake/2001); Greener Than Blue (Stan Strickland, Bob Weiner/2004); Waltzing the Splendor (Jon Metzger, Jane Hart Brendle, Ashima Scripp/2007); Stream of Pearls Project (Taki Masuko, Ashima Scripp, Toni Naples/2011); Claire Ritter & Friends at Multicultural Arts Center in Boston (Dominique Eade, Stan Strickland, Taki Masuko/2013); Soho Solo (2015). Recorded by others: Ran Blake (“Short Life of Barbara Monk”/Soul Note/1988); Franz Koglman (“Orte Der Geometrie” with Ran Blake/HatArt/1989); Documentary “Streaming” New England Conservatory; Southern Arts Federation “Jazz South # 3”); Film collaboration, Queens University & Charlotte New Music Festival with photographer JoAnn Sieburg-Baker “Mirrors Project/Six Jazz Variations.”
Other compositional performances/workshops include:
* 2014 Charlotte New Music Festival
* Central Piedmont Community College Tate Hall New Music Series
* Ottawa Jazz Festival
* New England Conservatory Jazz-Third Stream Festival
* Josef Matthias Haur Konservatorium
* Osterreichischen Museum
* Brandeis University
* University of North Carolina
* Queens University
* Festival of Women Improvisers, Boston
* Multicultural Arts Center, Boston
* Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance
* Stockbridge Music Series, Massachusetts
* Berkley School of Music
* Longy School of Music
* American Women Composers
* Club Passim, Cambridge
Claire Ritter is the recipient of a 2014, 2006 Arts and Science Regional Artist Grant; 2001 ‘Composers Charlotte’ Grassroots Grant as Artist Director/Queens University, 2000 NC Arts Council Jazz Composers Fellowship, and 2000 Arts and Science Regional Artist Grant.
Another great guest from Braitewaite and Katz.
Additional grants/awards include the Massachusetts Arts Lottery in Boston, and the Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta, Georgia. Claire Ritter is also the founder of the Ziggy Hurwitz Jazz Scholarship at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC.
Claire Ritter teaches and composes in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she is the Artistic Director Composers Concert at Queens University.
Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Cafe, CFRO 100.5 FM on July 11 at 1 pm PST were honoured to welcome the poetry of the Greek poet Ilias Foukis with the reading of two poems and a special dedication to his friend Maria and his sister Sofia. Thanks to the World Poetry Cafe radio show team of Ariadne Sawyer,host and producer, Super tech, Victor Shartzman and special volunteer, Sharon.
The Greek poet ILIAS FOUKIS , was born on 20 August 1969 in Epirus in northwestern Greece. He began to write poetry since 1988 when he was student in the Lyceum. Published volume of poetry THE TESTAMENT OF A LESSER GOD , which has been translated into ten languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.. Has won literary awards – OSCAR DE DOS OURO VENCEDORES, Brazil 2012 – MASSIMO D’AZEGLIO, Italy, 2012, 2013 , 2016. – CITA DEL GALATEO, Italy in 2013. His poem titled YOUNG GREEK SOLITARY was included in Poetry Anthology – U.S. Library of Congress. Works and lives in Athens.
Here are the two poems that were read on the air:
IN TIMES OF PEACE
Good called on the tempests of Zeus
to declare war
Like a wild beast it rose up
to kill evil
and from the heights of the Heavens
to exterminate it…
to flatten it
with the roar and power of thunderbolts.
Evil died…entered the ground
the garbage of earth
gave it a soul.
It raised its head…stood up straight
reentered the world in a driving rain.
Those were you see , the times of peace.
Good lived on intoxicated
wearing the laurels of triumph
and the tuxedo of justice.
It gave evil a pardon
in the name of the coexistence of nations and ideas.
Wars and tempests were forgotten
and the thunderbolts
and as in the beginning
lived together again in the name of peace
so in a while war
starts all over again from the beginning.
By Ilias Foukis (C) All rights reserved.
Translation by PHILIP RAMP
YOUNG GREEK SOLITARY
If such be
the will of the God on Earth
without needing to sing the praises of Zeus
will walk all day on the Earth.
And more importantly
as soon as I glimpse the secure distance
I’ve kept from death…
praise be to Apollo…
I will not be disturbed
by the demon of Self-Destruct
If such not be
the will of the God of the Heavens
then my dreams
which lay siege to the essence of Existence
will like Sisyphus
be caught in the nightmare of pointless labor
so not even one meter of heaven will be granted…
and do you know where these Dreams
for a better World
and a Beautiful Greece will end?
Unobserved and slowly
they will be eaten by the rust
and the dust of forgetfulness.
If such be
the will of the God of the Sea
my own specters which are armed
with gravity of conscience and forgiveness
will then have the rare opportunity
of washing away the living sins of Troy
which have become the most dangerous Olympus
with their cynical anticipation
be the Eternal Greece before the eyes of the world.
If such not be
the will of the God of Fire
then I who know better the fatal bond
of Greece with Flames
will lose my last
to show mercy
and the Cities will continue
to quietly burn.
And indeed… if such not be
the will of the God of Love
because of this horrifying alienation
which human emotions have undergone
no one will love me at all.
The worst thing though is that this Tragedy
will not simply end here…
This God of Love
has come highly touted by Olympus…
A good deal more than your usual Idols
and different from them
usurper of all longings
and with many possibilities for immortality.
And all the departing travelers
will testify that no matter where they went
they saw none of this incredible love anywhere
which in itself would be enough to convince
the easily deceived world
that the Summit had been worth the effort.
Few people love each other in this World.
And these few
love each other only as much as they are permitted
by the thought that you can never ascend into the Great Sky
because there… there has truly evolved
an anthropic History
but one that’s been lived by the Gods alone…
And for us to stay in the life which endures
more or less but for a single Season
we in any case my dear Apollo
were in no quandary…
felt no mystery…
because we never expressed any interest
in being Gods.
The problem is very simple…
We are not wanted
on this Earth…
Utterly paralyzed and directionless
we have moved about in the world
without being observed by anyone…
Perhaps we should get organised
we the Great Anonymous mass
to bring this madness with false
Heroes to an end
those who only the Gods with their
own wretchedness know how to erect…
And as if Troy wasn’t enough
to tyrannize Greece
then Olympus went and committed a crime
of its own as well.
The brain of the World has become stupefied
flinging at their hollow heads
its ferocious desire
to be God.
By these Gods
which will control everything from on high
and even more appalling
us who Will and Chance in tandem have
wanted to keep down here…
despite the fact we roamed the Earth backwards and forwards