*J'Entends le moulin* -- a new song cycle for the Bowers/Fader Duo
J'Entends le moulin is a cycle of 4 songs composed for and dedicated to Jessica Bowers and Oren Fader. The words are from traditional Quebecois folksongs, but the tunes and accompaniment are new.
Here's the youtube playlist for the Bowers/Fader January 27 performance at the American Opera Center.
J’Entends le Moulin
Baudelaire said he despises anything positif. I get that. Yes, that which is distinct leaves too little access to mysterious and powerful forces that make us feel we are in the presence of something big, something that has to be written with a capital letter. When I encounter those forces, surprising music starts pouring. The Symbolists allied themselves with fairy tales and folksongs; they were jealous of their mysterious indefiniteness. The Symbolists were also in thrall to Wagner, whose ancient myths and legends have all the magic of a fairy tale. I used the words from Québécois folksongs, and did not listen to the traditional musical settings, with the exception of Ziguezon, whose traditional setting I tried my best to forget, but the bizarre story can only be chanted so many ways. The cycle of songs got off the ground with Ziguezon, which I had always found a most bizarre and mysterious story. What is going on in the water? Does the gender of the narrator shift midway through? The folk lyrics are vague enough to take, to read, in almost any way, and the music can suggest readings that are not perhaps the first, most obvious reading. Jon Anderson’s Yes lyrics have this wonderful vagueness.