Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Full Concert (and a personal note) - Shadows and Light

The Barn's Memory - G. Almeida, (circa) 1976

Within Light's Shadow

Bathed in darkness one finds doors to freedom
No clutter, no noise caused by Light's distractions.
Myriads of shadows befalling each step whilst pacing trails of Pain's inner depths .

Pain? A necessary remedy for rising to one's fortitude?

Without it one is but an empty sheet tossing in the night's wind.
No weight to one's loss, no frailty.

Without frailties,
to become non-human, monsterous, lacking shadows or scars inflicted through the pain of Light,
rendered unconscious to one's mortal forms,
to be suprahuman?

( No )
I give thanks to Flaw and am returnéd..

Uplifted only upon descent.
Past the visible world.
Past pain, oblivion and vulnerability.

Light thriving,
born from all darkened moments.

In the bosom of Light's Shadow to be soothed, annointed, rubbed.
Thenceforth "becoming" from whence one was not,
or perhaps even was within an unconscious yet visible future self.

We are all constant shadows of our own distant light.
Cast almost randomly upon the streets of Time,
full puzzles revealed fragmentally in an order only known to the grand master who is blind to fractions and only sees
[both, each, either or between] - the "whole/hole"
... within Light's Shadow.

full concert (video - 1hr 24m.)

[concerto] - Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Don Alias - Shadows And Light.

Full concert - 1979

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Amy ...

Amy Winehouse

I'm sorry. I seem to be at a loss for words,
I'm just so sad to see you go...
You'll always grace our ears with your talented spirit through the gift of your music.

Goodnight sweet princess.

G. Almeida

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Moshe Safdie: born July 14, 1938

Habitat 67

Celebrating the birthday of the man who had made Habitat 67, and remembering North Ontario..
some Neil Young.
(For Mark, and for Ann.. for our families, and our friends on both sides of the Atlantic)

TRIO by G. Almeida - 2003

My mind has travelled back
to some dear old (ok - they're still pretty young) friends, and one in particular who has recently gone through some recent hardship..

With Love, M.

(for Ann)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Lopes Graça and Arvo Pärt - masterfully rendered by Miguel Henriques

Musical creation depends of course on the score's author but it is by the graceful and skillful hand of he (or she) whom *translates* said score that one receives the gift of a musical "presence".
It is the performer who provides me (us) - the recipient of the piece
(weather such a recipient be the author, anyone of us, or even him/herself)
with the "Work of Art", in this case a piece of music.

A performer can indeed :
  • "make or brake" a work of musical Art (so to speak)
  • unveil hidden forms of "reading" a work through his/her rendition, or hide and mask its intrinsic beauty.
  • give a comprehensive *translation* of the author's work, or turn it to gibberish.

I thus leave two magnificent musical works of art performed by Miguel Henriques.

Fernando Lopes Graça "Elegy"

Arvo Pärt "Für Alina"

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Betty Ford -

Garden Rose - photograph by Guida Almeida, 2011

A woman who's life shows us what dignity can mean. She shall always "Be".
I say no more.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

PART ONE of two, "Freedom and it's expression" [or if you will] 'Freedom - an expression' : Aung San Suu Kyi / Liu Xiaobo

( Part I - From the East )

The great Mohandas Gandhi once said - «A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.»

Freedom for some, danger for others or deemed treasonous is to express oneself freely in this world.
For some to fight on my behalf, to defend my fellow Man and I means to become either incarcerated, tortured and mutilated, or heinously killed..
Facts are to easily obscured on either sides of Prime Meridian when a little time is involved, manipulation of access to information (whether by distortion, omission or "tayloring" said information),
and greedy hands of those who crave POWER ( usually at any cost) cyclically come and go...
As we all well know this happens for instance (and among other things) by taking full advantage of "their" mass media and ignoring the existance of some - not too distant - historic facts and figures.

Just to refresh our memories, I post twice on the matter. First a pair from the East, and next (Part TWO) shall be from the WEST:

Unfortunately the number in both Hemispheres is staggering and thus it is not an easy task to choose. This time I bring two. 

For Potuguese readers - with LINK

A pressão internacional ajudou a libertar a ganhadora do Prêmio Nobel Aung San Suu Kyi, mas milhares de outros ativistas continuam presos. Vamos mostrar nosso apoio a Suu Kyi e ao povo de Mianmar. Assine a  petição! 

English Readers


Translated by Jeffrey Yang

Greed's Prisoner

                                   for the dispossessed wife

a prisoner
presses into the crowd of your life
so cruel and full of greed
won’t even let you
buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself
a piece of chocolate, a pretty dress
he doesn’t give you
time, not a single minute
does he give you

the smoke in your cupped palm
he breathes in, breathes in, completely
even the ashes don’t belong to you, his body
in the prison of the Communist Party
so that the spirit-cell you built
without a door without a window
without a thread of a crack
locks you in solitude
to rot

he forces you to endure each night
in the carcass of denunciation
he controls your pen
makes you write endless letters
makes you desperate to find hope
your suffering’s been trampled upon
his boredom’s one pleasure

that bird of yours
is lost in the torturous palm-
lines of his hand
where each path
has betrayed you

this emptied-eyed all-ignorant dictatorship
has plundered your corpse
in one night white hair covers your crown
completing his legend, his myth
the moment he sees himself brimming with righteous deeds
you already possess nothing
but this prisoner
has deathly-seized the white space of your future

another sun comes
once more he issues an order
once more you must walk the road alone
without body without memory
using this hollowed life
to carry his heavy book-load
on the road to him
he is very good at exploiting
each chance to dispossess you
of your possibilities

my wife
in this dust-weary world of
so much depravity
why do you
choose me alone to endure

                                                                   July 23, 1999

         China: Liu Xiaobo
Professional Background                                                   
China: Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo is a renowned literary critic, writer, and political activist based in         Beijing. He served as President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center from      2003 to 2007 and currently holds a seat on its board. Liu Xiaobo was a professor  at Beijing Normal University and has worked as a visiting scholar at several universities outside  of China, including the University of Oslo, the University of Hawaii, and Columbia University in  New York City.                                                                                                                      

Current Status                                                                                                                     
On December 10, 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Liu was poignantly represented by an empty chair at the ceremony in Oslo. When told of the announcement after   October 8, he wept and told his wife, Liu Xia, that it was dedicated to the martyrs of  Tiananmen.
Liu Xia has been under house arrest since the award announcement and is             incommunicado.

Liu Xiaobo was formally moved to Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning, his home province,   on May 24, 2010. He reportedly now has access to books published in China and is permitted rare visits from his wife, though she has not been allowed to see him     since October 10.

Liu Xiaobo was tried by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court on December 23, 2009, and pleaded not guilty to the charge of "inciting subversion of state power." The trial lasted less than three hours, and the defense was not permitted to present evidence. Two days later, on December 25, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights. The Beijing High Court rejected his appeal on February 11, 2010.

Liu Xiaobo was formally arrested by the Beijing Public Security Bureau on June 23, 2009 and charged with “inciting subversion of state power” for co-authoring Charter 08, a declaration calling for political reform, greater human rights, and an end to one-party rule in China that has been signed by hundreds of individuals from all walks of life throughout the country.  His case was officially moved to the prosecutor's office on December 8, 2009. He had been detained a year earlier, on December 8, 2008, and held for six months and two weeks under “residential surveillance” while police gathered evidence on his case. Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s wife, has only been permitted to visit him twice, he did not have access to a lawyer and he was denied writing materials while detained at an undisclosed location in Beijing. He was held at the No. 1 Detention Center of Beijing City, where he has finally had access to his lawyers, from the date of his formal arrest in 2009 until May 24, 2010.

Case History

In the spring of 1989, Liu Xiaobo left his post at Columbia University and returned to Beijing to play a crucial role in the spreading pro-democracy movement, staging a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square in support of the students and leading calls for a truly broad-based, sustainable democratic movement. He was instrumental in preventing even further bloodshed in the Square by supporting and advancing a call for non-violence on the part of the students. He spent two years in prison for his role, and another three years of “reeducation through labor” in 1996 for publicly questioning the role of the single-party system and calling for dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

In 2004, Liu’s phone lines and Internet connection were cut after the release of his essay criticizing the use of “subversion” charges used to silence journalists and activists, and he has been the target of regular police surveillance and harassment in the years since.

Just after 9:00 p.m. on December 8, 2008, before the formal release of Charter 08, police arrived at the Beijing homes of Liu and fellow activist Zhang Zuhua. At 11:00 p.m., they took both men away and searched their homes, confiscating computers and other materials. His arrest occurred during a period of several sensitive anniversaries, including the 100-year anniversary of the promulgation of China’s first constitution, the 60-year anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the 30-year anniversary of Beijing’s “Democracy Wall” movement.

While Zhang Zuhua was released the following morning, Liu Xiaobo remained in detention. He was held incommunicado until December 31, when he was finally permitted a visit from his wife.

Since Liu Xiaobo’s arrest, nearly all of the 300 original signatories of Charter 08 have been interrogated in a push to gather evidence against him and crack down on free expression in China.
His wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest in Beijing. That I know of there are no accounts of her being seen since detention.
(link below is from the "The Irish Times")

Friday, 1 July 2011

Dominion Day - July 1

Today's post shall have the two tongues of Upper and Lower Canada.. but before that, inspired by a recent discussion with some regarding Shakespeare, Pessoa and Tolstoi, I bring a piece I greatly enjoy, by Paolo Conte - " L'orchestrina " .

   Aujourd'hui, j'ecrirai dans les deux langues du Haut et du Bas-Canada .. mais avant cela, inspirée par une   récente discussion avec certains au sujet de Shakespeare, Pessoa et Tolstoï, j'apporte un morceau que j'aime  beaucoup, de Paolo Conte - "L'orchestrina".                                                                                 

Lake and Mountains by Lawren Harris, 1928

Backdropp Addresses Cowboy

Starspangled cowboy
sauntering out of the almost-
silly West, on your face
a porcelain grin,
tugging a papier-mache cactus
on wheels behind you with a string,

you are innocent as a bathtub
full of bullets.

Your righteous eyes, your laconic
people the streets with villains:
as you move, the air in front of you
blossoms with targets

and you leave behind you a heroic
trail of desolation:
beer bottles
slaughtered by the side
of the road, bird-
skulls bleaching in the sunset.

I ought to be watching
from behind a cliff or a cardboard storefront
when the shooting starts, hands clasped
in admiration,

but I am elsewhere.
Then what about me

what about the I
confronting you on that border
you are always trying to cross?

I am the horizon
you ride towards, the thing you can never lasso

I am also what surrounds you:
my brain
scattered with your
tincans, bones, empty shells,
the litter of your invasions.

I am the space you desecrate
as you pass through.

Margaret Atwood

(author's LINK)

Algoma Hill - Lawren Harris,1920

a landscape from an area north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
117-by 137-centimetres oil on canvas and board.
Harris was a founding member of the Group of Seven.
un paysage d'une région au nord de Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
117-137-centimètres par huile sur toile et bois.
Harris a été membre fondateur du Groupe des Sept.

                      All the World's a Stage

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

William Shakespeare

(an author who had inspired another, one of my all time favourites - Fernando Pessoa  -  Un auteur qui a inspiré d'autres, dont l'un est un de mes favoris de tous les temps - Fernando Pessoa)

     Crown me with roses

Crown me with roses,
Crown me really
                        With roses-
Roses which burn out
On a forehead burning
                        So soon out !
Crown me with roses
And with fleeting leafage.

                         That will do.

Ricardo Reis

Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) had at least 70 heteronyms.
The heteronyms: Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis
and Álvaro de Campos are among those most common.

- the above poem
and some of the others that were
originally written in English
can be found here - This Link

Swallows - Benjamin Chee Chee, 1974

And last but definitely not least... 

The wonderful Emile NELLIGAN   (1879-1941)

Et enfin, il pourrait bien être le début, en effet... La merveilleuse Emile NELLIGAN 


Fais, au blanc frisson de tes doigts,
Gémir encore, ô ma maîtresse !
Cette marche dont la caresse
Jadis extasia les rois.

Sous les lustres aux prismes froids,
Donne à ce coeur sa morne ivresse,
Aux soirs de funèbre paresse
Coulés dans ton boudoir hongrois.

Que ton piano vibre et pleure,
Et que j'oublie avec toi l'heure
Dans un Eden, on ne sait où...

Oh ! fais un peu que je comprenne
Cette âme aux sons noirs qui m'entraîne
Et m'a rendu malade et fou !

.  .  .  .  .

This is a long POST, I know, but it's been quite a while since last I visited
either of my Canadas: Upper, Lower, or any other for that matter...

A Happy day to everyone, Canadian and Non-Canadian alike.