Thursday, February 24, 2011

"The Night Journey" by Terri Windling....

A little while ago, Theodora Goss wrote a beautiful analysis of Terri Windling’s poem “The Night Journey”. Please pop over there and read it before you go any further, it is a stunning and evocative piece. It’s also a piece that resonated deeply with me, reminding me of a short poem I wrote almost 20 years ago, about that same journey towards (or perhaps inwards to)...well, we’re not sure, a muse, a trickster, a phantom...or all three. I won’t say any more than that, it is for each reader to find their own story in it. But reading the poem seemed to me like weaving a spell, and I felt I didn’t just want to read it, I wanted to HEAR it, it needed to spoken out loud, like an invocation. So...I gave it a shot. I blew the type up large on my computer screen and then read/sang directly from it into the computer mic, making guitar bits up as I went along, so it's very....hmmm, immediate (ok, ROUGH!) But I tried to capture the sense of a storyteller, huddled perhaps by a fire in the dark of winter, weaving a little magic for her listeners while the wind blows outside. I ummed and ahhed to myself about what to do with it...then, as I know how precious her ‘spoon’ time is and how full her in-box is likely to be, I tentatively sent it to Terri to see if she’d like to hear it and what she might think of it. So, I’m very happy to say that not only did she like it, but she’s given me permission to post it so you can hear it too (thanks so much Terri!) And she also sent me a link to a version recorded by Oliver Hunter, one of the talented people behind Goblin Fruit (definitely worth checking out for marvellous mythic poetry). I’ve come across Oliver’s music before and he actually has free downloads of it on his website...I downloaded both his CDs a year or so ago and love them and play them regularly, so pop over and check that out too!

So, here you go...2 versions of “The Night Journey” by Terri Windling, as recorded by Oliver and myself. Quite different, but both (I hope) managing to convey the sense of magic and mystery of the poem.

Late Note:  I've just checked the links for Oliver's music, and they don't seem to be there anymore, and there's a Malware warning coming up on one of them, so I don't know what's happening there.  I hope he makes his music available again soon, it's great stuff.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I really got that sense of the storytelling weaving a story spell. Full of myth and magic indeed and the sparse guitar arrangement enhances it much more than a complex arrangement could.

Very beautiful! You'll be needing a bandcamp account to offer downloads soon at this rate!

Valerianna said...

Thanks for a wonder of a thing to wake up to... haunting and beautiful!

Stephanie Gunn said...

I am utterly in love with your version.

And seriously, if you decided to sell versions of the music that you've posted on your blog, I would buy them. You have an enchanting voice.

Erzebet said...

That is utterly lovely.

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