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Monday, 25 July 2016

Minimanimalia : Raul Scacchi




I have just received my advance, pre-launch copy of this splendid book and CD, a labour of love and dedication by Gioia Roni Maestro Scacchi, published by Istos Editions. It is beautifully designed and illustrated, a lasting and moving tribute to the late, much-missed Raul Scacchi.

Thank you, Gioia!

The book , the CD  and the songs are entirely about animals, and dedicated to animals, about all of which which Raul cared passionately.

My two favourite tracks are the setting of Petrarch's Una Candida Cerva*, sung in Italian by Brunella Sermonetta, and Les Atherines de Corfou, sung in Greek by Raul himself.



I was delighted to find that it contains a number of song lyrics in English on which Raul and I collaborated to varying degrees before (and after) he fell ill, and some of my own poems which Raul set to music ("The First Lyre", about the tortoise murdered by Hermes to make the first lyre and two other poems, about dolphins, from my book "Corfu Blues", which I combined to make one song lyric, "21 Dolphins"), and my poem "Confessions of a Wanton Boy" which Raul adapted (in the second half) to fit the music and his concept. 

A correction is to be made to identify me as the author of the relevant poems and lyrics.

The two dolphin poems, written in 1967 ("Corfu Haiku") and 1994, respectively,  (from Corfu Blues, Ars Interpres, 2006), were the basis of my song lyric: 







The "Twenty-one dolphins" haiku was selected for "The Haiku Hundred", published by Iron Press in 1992: "This historic little book was published initially in 1992 and ran to six prints. It sold more than 10,000 copies making it the biggest selling book of English language haiku in the UK.
(IRON Press, in collaboration with the British Haiku Society, apparently received more than 5,500 submissions when they invited work for this small anthology).

"The First Lyre" (my poem was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 'Time for Verse', Sept 2, 1987; published in 'Corfu Blues', Ars Interpres, 2006)

First  preview of "Minimanimalia"



Illustration Franco Scacchi



Illustration Lucrezia Benvenuti


Illustration Brunella Sermoneta

"L'ultimo concept album rimasto incompiuto, è un doppio cd dedicato agli animali: di Minimanimalia, che Raul stava terminando quando la malattia si è aggravata, qui appare solo il progetto per la copertina. Le canzoni e le illustrazioni saranno pubblicate in un libretto con CD a parte".


"La Natura, per quanto crudele, era la sua forza di redenzione: la musica e gli animali, il suo grande conforto, fino al termine della sua vita. Meno di un mese prima di morire, il 14 maggio, Raul mi ha scritto un e mail “Al momento, nelle mie condizioni, non sono assolutamente in grado di pensare ad alcuna produzione musicale. Ma ascolto tantissima nusica, specialmente i requiems (quello di Faure’e’ uno dei miei preferiti), le sinfonie di Mahler e la sagra della Primavera di Stravinski (da sempre uno dei brani che prediligo)…”

A parte il suo amore per la musica gli era di conforto pensare che c’erano persone che si prendevano cura degli animali e della natura in generale e che sentivano in merito, un senso di responsabilità, anche se sono una minoranza. Raul ha lasciato a tutti noi, specialmente alle giovani generazioni, una grande eredità artistica e musicale, rica di idee e principi. Lui può essere ancora la nostra guida, il nostro “Psicopompo”, noi glielo dobbiamo".

Update: About the Corfu Book Launch, and my own offering from afar - "A personal account of collaboration, based on an email exchange between December 8, 2006 and 31 May, 2014".


Pisa Event

More news

Minimanimalia, una festa per gli animali e l'ambiente Eventi a Pisa

Bipolar Bear




*Sir Thomas Wyatt's very free adaptation  (or transformation/transmutation) of Petrarch's sonnet, Una Candida Cerva:


Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,

But as for me, alas, I may no more;

The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,

I am of them that furthest come behind.

Yet may I by no means my wearied mind

Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore

Fainting I follow; I leave off therefore,

Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.

Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,

As well as I, may spend his time in vain.

And graven with diamonds in letters plain,

There is written her fair neck round about,

"Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,

And wild for to hold, though I seem tame."

******


Is Wyatt's version a poem about a deer, or about Anne Boleyn?


Rime sparse 190 

Una candida cerva sopra l’erba
 verde m’apparve con duo corna d’oro, 
fra due riviere all’ombra d’un alloro,
 levando ’l sole a la stagione acerba. 

Era sua vista si dolce superba
 ch’ i’ lasciai per seguirla ogni lavoro, 
come l’avaro che ’n cercar tesoro 
con diletto l’affanno disacerba.

 “Nessun mi tocchi,” al bel collo d’intorno
scritto avea di diamanti et di topazi. 
“Libera farmi al mio Cesare parve.”

 Et era ’l sol già vòlto al mezzo giorno, 
Gli occhi miei stanchi di mirar, non sazi,
 Quand‘ io caddi ne l’acqua et ella sparve.



Footnote (JP):

I was very glad that Raul took up my suggestion of setting Francesco Petrarch’s wonderful sonnet, Una Candida Cerva (my email to Raul of 30/1/2013); on 22 February 2013, after he sent me some (flawed) English translations he’d found, I wrote “I thought you would set the original Italian (more beautiful!)…Can you find some other translations… or even try the Italian original?” Raul was so modest, perhaps he thought it might be considered presumptuous of him to set a sonnet by Petrarch in Italian. I am so glad that he did follow my suggestion. What fascinating international transformations from sonnet to song, from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century! (Petrarch's Il Canzoniere/ Rime Sparse/ Rerum vulgarium fragmenta) were probably written between 1327-1368):

The cultural interchange & cycle of influence and inspiration: Petrarch's sonnet 190 - Wyatt's English poem - Jim - Raul - Petrarch's Sonnet - Raul's song

see also, two different views of the Wyatt version:

Wyatt, Petrarch, and the Uses of Mistranslation,: Joe Glaser, College Literature, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Fall, 1984), pp. 214-222: The Johns Hopkins University Press


Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation,  Susan Bassnett, André Lefevere (pp 67 - 70)








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