Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Soltice with Walt Whitman & Charlie Parker

Walt Whitman's prose is as lovely as his poetry. He had natal Sun in Gemini by the way. His natal chart was covered in a 2008 post HERE.
This piece of his prose fits rather well on this Summer Solstice:


An Early Summer Reveille

Away then to loosen, to unstring the divine bow, so tense, so long. Away, from curtain, carpet, sofa, book—from “society”—from city house, street, and modern improvements and luxuries—away to the primitive winding, aforementioned wooded creek, with its untrimm’d bushes and turfy banks—away from ligatures, tight boots, buttons, and the whole cast-iron civilize life—from entourage of artificial store, machine, studio, office, parlor—from tailordom and fashion’s clothes—from any clothes, perhaps, for the nonce, the summer heats advancing, there in those watery, shaded solitudes. Away, thou soul, (let me pick thee out singly, reader dear, and talk in perfect freedom, negligently, confidentially,) for one day and night at least, returning to the naked source-life of us all—to the breast of the great silent savage all-acceptive Mother. Alas! how many of us are so sodden—how many have wander’d so far away, that return is almost impossible.


And - more pure class: Charlie (Bird) Parker with his version of Gershwin's wonderful Summertime.

Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on 29 August 1920. Raised in Kansas City, Missouri, found fame in New York City as a jazz saxophonist. He's counted as one of the legends of that genre, died as a result of drug abuse at the tender age of 34. He had 4 personal planets in meticulous Virgo, opposed by maverick planet Uranus and Moon in Pisces (time of birth unknown, but the opposition of Moon is more than likely). I'd say that this opposition is key to both his musical genius and his inability to free himself from his addictions.


Parker's soaring, fast, rhythmically asymmetrical improvisations could amaze the listener; nevertheless close inspection shows each line to hold a complete, well-constructed phrase with each note in place. Parker's harmonic ideas were revolutionary, introducing a new tonal vocabulary employing 9ths, 11ths and 13ths of chords, rapidly implied passing chords, and new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions. His tone was clean and penetrating, but sweet and plaintive on ballads. Although many Parker recordings demonstrate dazzling virtuoso technique and complex melodic lines he was also one of the great blues players. (From a potted biography HERE)





Solstice Greetings!

4 comments:

Rossa said...

Great youtube clip of Charlie Parker's version of Summertime. Not heard that one before. My favourite one is Satchmo and Ella. Gets played to death in the car when I want a "sing-a-long" on a long journey.

Happy Solstice Twilight. I read your comments on Robert's site about the coming Cross/Square. It's certainly going to be interesting with the Lunar Eclipse this Saturday and the Solar Eclipse on 11 July.

Just the thought of the Earth slap bang in the middle of the Sun, Moon and the 5 outer planets is fascinating and a bit scary. Jupiter alone is 1,000 times bigger than the Earth and the Sun is 1,000 times bigger than that. We forget sometimes (if we ever think about it) how small, the 3rd Rock from the Sun, is.

Think there might be a few more quakes and volcanic activity than normal under those stresses and strains.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~ I like Ella and Satch too. Like coffee and cream - their voices!

Yes, these are interesting times. There's so much opportunity for positive change, yet there's also so much hanging back from it (at least on this side of the pond).

I agree that we're in a period when quakes and weird weather, eruptions and such are more likely to occur. Not much to be done about those vents though - just keep putting one foot in front of t'other as my old Gran used to say. :-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Great twosome for the Solstice, T, and backatcha on the good wishes.
Yes, there is something in the ether, isn't there?
Good advice from the Granny, there is nothing much us little uns can do about it all.
XO
WWW

Twilight said...

Thanks WWW ~ Yes, one foot in front of t'other trying not to trip over our shoelaces. ;-)