Incantation

PRELUDE ~ 5:48

Developed from the liner notes from the 1979 Frank Zappa recording Joe's Garage, a three-part rock opera. Joe's Garage is noted for its use of xenochrony, Joe's Garage a recording technique that takes older live recordings and overdubs them onto new studio recordings. The word derives from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), strange or alien, and χρόνος (chronos), time. The album Incantation encompasses a large spectrum of musical styles, while its recitations feature commentary on American society and politics and addresses themes of individualism, free will, censorship, and the music industry, while criticizing and satirizing government and organized religion.


“Desperate nerds in high offices all over the world have been known to enact the most disgusting pieces of legislation in order to win votes (or, in places where they don't get to vote, to control unwanted forms of mass behavior).... ... If a few key phrases are thrown into any speech (as the expert advisors explain to these various heads of state) votes will roll in, bucks will roll in, and, most importantly, power will be maintained by the groovy guy (or gal) who gets the most media coverage for his sleaze. Naturally, his friends in various businesses will do okay too.”
“All governments perpetuate themselves through the daily commission of act which a rational person might find to be stupid or dangerous (or both). Naturally, our government is no exception ... for instance, if the President (any one of them) went on TV and sat there with the flag in the background (or maybe a rustic scene on a little backdrop, plus the flag) and stared sincerely into the camera and told everybody that all energy problems and all inflationary problems had been traced to and could be solved by the abolition of MUSIC, chances are that most people would believe him and think that the illegalization of this obnoxious form of noise pollution would be a small price to pay for the chance to buy gas like the good ol' days... ”


Recitation: Sacco E  Vanzetti
Music: Grey Catbird ~ Shane Navoy, Conductor

FURTHER REFERENCES:

  • Audio Source

  • Download Prelude

THREE MODES OF HISTORY AND CULTURE ~ 7:03

Amiri Baraka (October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014), previously known as LeRoi Jones, was an African-American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism. He was the author of numerous books of poetry and taught at several universities. Baraka's career spanned nearly 50 years, and his themes range from black liberation to white racism. Some poems that are always associated with him are "The Music: Reflection on Jazz and Blues", "The Book of Monk", and "New Music, New Poetry", works that draw on topics from the worlds of society, music, and literature. Baraka's brief tenure as Poet Laureate of New Jersey (2002–2003) involved controversy over a public reading of his poem "Somebody Blew Up America?", which resulted in accusations of anti-semitism and negative attention from critics and politicians. Amiri Baraka

Chalk mark sex of the nation, on walls we drummers
know
as cathedrals. Cathedra, in a churning meat milk.

Women glide through looking for telephones. Maps
weep
and are mothers and their daughters listening to

music teachers. From heavy beginnings. Plantations,
learning
America, as speech, and a common emptiness. Songs knocking

inside old women's faces. Knocking through cardboard trunks.
Trains
leaning north, catching hellfire in windows, passing through

the first ignoble cities of missouri, to illinois, and the panting
Chicago.
And then all ways, we go where flesh is cheap. Where factories

sit open, burning the chiefs. Make your way! Up through fog and
history
Make your way, and swing the general, that it come flash open

and spill the innards of that sweet thing we heard, and gave theory
to.
Breech, bridge, and reach, to where all talk is energy. And theres

enough, for anything singular. All our lean prophets and rhythms.
Entire
we arrive and set up shacks, hole cards, Western hearts at the edge

of saying. Thriving to balance the meanness of particular skies.
Race
of madmen and giants.

Brick songs. Shoe Songs. Chants of open weariness.
Knife wiggle early evenings of the wet mouth. Tongue
dance midnight, any season shakes our house. Don't
tear my clothes! To doubt the balance of misery

ripping meat hug shuffle fuck. The Party of Insane
Hope, I've come from there too. Where the dead told lies
about clever social justice. Burning coffins voted
and staggered through cold white streets listening
to Willkie or Wallace or Dewey through the dead face
of Lincoln. Come from there, and belched it out.

I think about a time when I will be relaxed.
When flames and non-specific passion wear themselves
away. And my eyes and hands and mind can turn
and soften, and my songs will be softer
and lightly weight the air.

Recitation: Dr. Bill Taylor
Music: Sacco E  Vanzetti

FURTHER REFERENCES:


HOW GREAT THOU ART ~ 6:50

"How Great Thou Art" is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859–1940) in Mönsterås, Sweden in 1885. It was translated into German and then into Russian and became a hymn. It was translated into English from the Russian by English missionary Stuart K. Hine, who also added two original verses of his own. In this rendition Sacco E Vanzetti incorporates verses from the English Romantic poet John Keats and the American modernist composer, Charles Ives.

John Keats On Seeing the Elgin Marbles ~ John Keats

My spirit is too weak—mortality
     Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep,
     And each imagined pinnacle and steep
Of godlike hardship tells me I must die
Like a sick eagle looking at the sky.

"The Things Our Fathers Loved" is the 43rd song in Ives's song collection 114 Songs. The song is subtitled "And the greatest of these was Liberty." The song is based on music written by Ives in 1905. Popular tunes and hymns that can be heard during this song include: "The Battle Cry of Freedom," "My Old Kentucky Home," "On the Banks of the Wabash," "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," and "In the Sweet By and By."

Charles Ives The Things Our Fathers Loved ~ Charles Ives

I think there must be a place in the soul
all made of tunes, of tunes of long ago;
I hear the organ on the Main Street corner,
Aunt Sarah humming Gospels; Summer evenings,
The village cornet band, playing in the square.
The town's Red, White and Blue,
all Red, White and Blue; Now! Hear the words
But they sing in my soul of the things our Fathers loved.

Recitation and Music: Sacco E  Vanzetti

FURTHER REFERENCES:


THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS ~ 3:48

Langston Hughes James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. He famously wrote about the period that "the negro was in vogue", which was later paraphrased as "when Harlem was in vogue".

According to Hughes, this poem was written while he was 17 and on a train crossing the Mississippi River on the way to visit his father in Mexico in 1920.




I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
   flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
   went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
   bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.



Recitation: Dr. Bill Taylor and Tanya Saunders
Music: Sacco E  Vanzetti

FURTHER REFERENCES:


BLACKBOTTOM ~ 7:53

Toi Derricotte On April 12, 1941, Toi Derricotte was born in Hamtramck, Michigan. She earned her BA in special education from Wayne State University and her MA in English literature from New York University. Together with Cornelius Eady, in 1996, she co-founded the Cave Canem Foundation, a national poetry organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. In Derricotte's poetry, the taboo, the restricted, and the repressed figure prominently; they are often the catalysts that prompt her to write, to confess the painful. Often stylistically compared to so-called confessional poets like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, Derricotte, in opting for candor over decorum, wants her "work to be a wedge into the world, as what is real and not what people want to hear." Unlike the African-American poets of the Black Arts Movement, many of whom heeded Amiri Baraka's call for an artistic expression that was decidedly black nationalist, proletarian, and accessible, Derricotte wrote, instead, deeply personal, troubling, often difficult poems that talked more of black families haunted by gender oppression and familial strife than of Black Power and racial solidarity.


When relatives came from out of town,
we would drive down to Blackbottom,
drive slowly down the congested main streets
    -- Beubian and Hastings --
trapped in the mesh of Saturday night.
Freshly escaped, black middle class,
we snickered, and were proud;
the louder the streets, the prouder.
We laughed at the bright clothes of a prostitute,
a man sitting on a curb with a bottle in his hand.
We smelled barbecue cooking in dented washtubs,
    and our mouths watered.
As much as we wanted it we couldn’t take the chance.

Rhythm and blues came from the windows, the throaty voice of
    a woman lost in the bass, in the drums, in the dirty down
    and out, the grind.
“I love to see a funeral, then I know it ain’t mine.”
We rolled our windows down so that the waves rolled over us
    like blood.
We hoped to pass invisibly, knowing on Monday we would
    return safely to our jobs, the post office and classroom.
We wanted our sufferings to be offered up as tender meat,
and our triumphs to be belted out in raucous song.
We had lost our voice in the suburbs, in Conant Gardens,
    where each brick house delineated a fence of silence;
we had lost the right to sing in the street and damn creation.

We returned to wash our hands of them,
to smell them
whose very existence
tore us down to the human.

Recitation: Tanya Saunders
Music: Sacco E  Vanzetti
with guest artist Adrian Valosin on percussion

FURTHER REFERENCES:


AMERICA'S BUSINESS: A SIMPLE PRAYER ~ 6:54

Quincy Troupe with Miles Davis Quincy Thomas Troupe, Jr. (born July 22, 1939) is an American poet, editor, journalist and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, California. He is best known as the biographer of Miles Davis, the jazz musician. Troupe was a regular presence at the Los Angeles Watts Writers Workshop and began working in a more jazz-based style where his work was associated with Black Arts Movement writers such as Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Wanda Coleman, Haki Madhubuti and Ishmael Reed, who were also his friends. Their work was diverse but was strongly informed by world literature and jazz music. Some time later it emerged that the Workshop had been a target of the covert FBI counterintelligence program COINTELPRO, and that the Workshop, along with its theater were burned to the ground, in 1973 by the FBI informant and infiltrator, Darthard Perry (a.k.a. Ed Riggs). It also emerged that Riggs had not only been sabotaging equipment at the Workshop but also used his association with it to infiltrate the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panthers, and numerous other organizations that promoted black culture, ultimately being instrumental in their demise.

Recitation: Sacco E  Vanzetti
Music: Sacco E  Vanzetti
with guest artist Adrian Valosin on percussion

FURTHER REFERENCES:


THOSE WINTER SUNDAYS ~ 4:32

Robert Hayden (August 4, 1913 – February 25, 1980) was an American poet, essayist, and educator. He served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1976–78, a role today known as US Poet Laureate. He was the first African-American writer to hold the office. Robert Hayden was born Asa Bundy Sheffey in Detroit, Michigan, to Ruth and Asa Sheffey, who separated before his birth. He was taken in by a foster family next door, Sue Ellen Westerfield and William Hayden, and grew up in a Detroit ghetto nicknamed "Paradise Valley". Robert Hayden The Haydens' perpetually contentious marriage, coupled with Ruth Sheffey’s competition for her son's affections, made for a traumatic childhood. Witnessing fights and suffering beatings, Hayden lived in a house fraught with chronic anger, whose effects would stay with him throughout his life. On top of that, his severe visual problems prevented him from participating in activities such as sports in which nearly everyone else was involved. His childhood traumas resulted in debilitating bouts of depression that he later called "my dark nights of the soul." Because he was nearsighted and slight of stature, he was often ostracized by his peers. In response, Hayden read voraciously, developing both an ear and an eye for transformative qualities in literature. Those Winter Sundays was initially published during the early 1960s - its first appearance, in a slightly different version, was in Hayden’s A Ballad of Remembrance (1962) and the poem has appeared regularly in anthologies and on classroom syllabi over the decades.


Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Recitation: Jordan Wells
Music: Sacco E   Vanzetti

FURTHER REFERENCES:


I AM A COWBOY IN THE BOAT OF RA ~ 8:10

Ishmael ReedIshmael Scott Reed (born February 22, 1938) is an American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, playwright, editor and publisher, who is known for his satirical works challenging American political culture. Reed's work has often sought to represent neglected African and African-American perspectives; his energy and advocacy have centered more broadly on neglected peoples and perspectives, irrespective of their cultural origins. Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1938. His family moved when he was a child to the industrial city of Buffalo, New York, during the Great Migration.

He moved to New York City in 1962 and co-founded with Walter Bowart the East Village Other, which became a well-known underground publication. He was also a member of the Umbra Writers Workshop, some of whose members helped establish the Black Arts Movement and promoted a Black Aesthetic.


' The devil must be forced to reveal any such physical evil
(potions, charms, fetishes, etc.) still outside the body
and these must be burned. ' (Rituale Romanum, published
1947, endorsed by the coat-of-arms and introductory
letter from Francis cardinal Spellman)


I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra,
sidewinders in the saloons of fools
bit my forehead like O
the untrustworthiness of Egyptologists
who do not know their trips. Who was that
dog-faced man? they asked, the day I rode
from town.

School marms with halitosis cannot see
the Nefertiti fake chipped on the run by slick
germans, the hawk behind Sonny Rollins’ head or
the ritual beard of his axe; a longhorn winding
its bells thru the Field of Reeds.

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra. I bedded
down with Isis, Lady of the Boogaloo, dove
deep down in her horny, stuck up her Wells-Far-ago
in daring midday getaway. 'Start grabbing the
blue,' I said from top of my double crown.

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra. Ezzard Charles
of the Chisholm Trail. Took up the bass but they
blew off my thumb. Alchemist in ringmanship but a
sucker for the right cross.

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra. Vamoosed from
the temple i bide my time. The price on the wanted
poster was a-going down, outlaw alias copped my stance
and moody greenhorns were making me dance;
     while my mouth’s
shooting iron got its chambers jammed.

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra. Boning-up in
the ol' West i bide my time. You should see
me pick off these tin cans whippersnappers. I
write the motown long plays for the comeback of
Osiris. Make them up when stars stare at sleeping
steer out here near the campfire. Women arrive
on the backs of goats and throw themselves on
my Bowie.

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra. Lord of the lash,
the Loup Garou Kid. Half breed son of Pisces and
Aquarius. I hold the souls of men in my pot. I do
the dirty boogie with scorpions. I make the bulls
keep still and was the first swinger to grape the taste.

I am a cowboy in his boat. Pope Joan of the
Ptah Ra. C/mere a minute willya doll?
Be a good girl and
bring me my Buffalo horn of black powder
bring me my headdress of black feathers
bring me my bones of Ju-Ju snake
go get my eyelids of red paint.
Hand me my shadow

I'm going into town after Set

I am a cowboy in the boat of Ra

look out Set    here i come Set
to get Set    to sunset Set
to unseat Set to Set down Set

      usurper of the Royal couch
      imposter RAdio of Moses’ bush
      party pooper O hater of dance
      vampire outlaw of the milky way

Recitation: Dr. Bill Taylor and Sacco E  Vanzetti
Music: Sacco E  Vanzetti
with special guests:
Herb Robertson ~ Trumpet, Fluegelhorn, and specialized brass
Adrian Valosin ~ Percussion

FURTHER REFERENCES:


HUMAN EYES ~ 4:23

Michio Mado Michio Mado (まど・みちお Mado Michio, November 16, 1909 - February 28, 2014) was a Japanese poet. He received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1994 for his "lasting contribution to children's literature." Mado was born as Michio Ishida in Tokuyama, Yamaguchi prefecture. He spent his childhood with his grandfather because his parents went to work in Taiwan. Later he joined his family there. He graduated from the School of Industrial Instruction in Taipei and then worked for the Office of the Governor-General.
He died on February 28, 2014, aged 104.


When little ones go toddling along
no matter if they're
human babies
the dog's puppies
or goats kids
why are they so endearing?

They could be
chicks,
baby mantis nymphs
tadpoles
I feel like cuddling them, rubbing my cheek against theirs

Why, why is it this way
that every life, newly born
feels so dear

Why is it that humans are given
eyes that make us feel so loving and dear to them?

ah, the universe, so eternal and fathomless,
it’s so close, right here
It is rubbing its check against ours

as if to show us how!

Recitation: Sacco E  Vanzetti
Music: Sacco E Vanzetti
with special guest, Bill Hoo ~ Guitar

FURTHER REFERENCES:


POSTLUDE ~ 6:12


Eventually it was discovered
That God
Did not want us to be
All the same
This was
BAD NEWS
For the Governments of The World
As it seemed contrary
To the doctrin of
Portion Controlled Servings
Mankind must be made more uniformly
If
THE FUTURE
Was going to work
Various ways were sought
To bind us all together
But, alas
SAMENESS was unenforceable
It was about this time that someone
Came up with the idea of
TOTAL CRIMINALIZATION
Based on the principle that if we were ALL crooks
We could at last be uniform to some degree in the eyes of
THE LAW
Shrewdly our legislators calculated
That most people were too lazy to perform a
REAL CRIME
So new laws were
Manufactured
Making it possible for anyone to violate them
Any time of the day or night,
And
Once we had all broken some kind of law
We'd all be in the same big happy club
Right up there with the President,
The most exalted industrialists,
And the clerical big shots
Of all your favorite religions
TOTAL CRIMINALIZATION
Was the greatest idea of its time
And was vastly popular
Except with those people
Who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws,
So, of course, they had to be
TRICKED INTO IT...
Which is one of the reasons why
MUSIC
Was eventually made
ILLEGAL

by Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage, Acts II & III

Recitation: Sacco E  Vanzetti
Music:  Grey Catbird ~ Shane Navoy, Conductor

FURTHER REFERENCES:


"He perceives very clearly that the world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it."
~ Albert Einstein's tribute to Pablo Casals, March 1953.

Autoritätsdusel ist der größte Feind der Wahrheit.
(Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.)
~ Einstein letter to Jost Winteler (1901)

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
~ Einstein Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen,
professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York (1940)


PRODUCTION / DIFFUSION: MJCMAG.ORG
ENGINEERING: Freddy Van Gelder Jr.
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT: Mario Buddha & Ivan Creosote.
Synthesizer Programming & Support: Brian Cowell & Jason Fewings. Ispirazione: Thorsten Kaffenberger.

Incantation by Sacco E Vanzetti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://saccovanzetti.org.

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