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Archive for the ‘Nurses’ Category

indexSOUNDTRACK: LARA DOWNES-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #29 (May 30, 2020).

laraI don’t know Lara Downes, although from the picture you can see that she is a pianist, obviously.  But she also works in communities with young people–something she has been unable to do since the coronavirus took over.

This Tiny Home Desk is visually more interesting than most of the others, because she has a mobile cameraman, her son Simon, who walks around and zooms in on her fingers and elsewhere.

She plays three songs

all from her recent album Some of These Days… They are strong statements that resonate in new ways. From Margaret Bonds, one of the first celebrated African-American women composers, there’s “Troubled Water,” a poignant riff on the spiritual “Wade in the Water” that Downes says takes a “journey from classical virtuosity to gospel, jazz, blues and back again.”

It has a very fluid feel but is also quite dark.

The next piece surprised me not because of the song but because of the arranger.  Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, yes the author, created this arrangement of “Deep River.”  I’m surprised that there is nothing else said about him.  I had no idea he was musical as well.

She says there are many interpretations of the river in this song.  For some, it is crossing over into the afterlife.  In the time of slavery, it meant crossing to freedom.  For Downes it represents “crossing over” the coronavirus crisis, to something better.

She is looking to raise money for FeedingAmerica.  If you go to her site and donate you can get a signed copy of her new album.

The final song is Florence Price’s “Some of These Days,” which she sees as a vision of better times ahead.  It is a beautiful slow piece.

The set ends with a jump edit to her snuggling her beloved pooch, Kona.

[READ: May 31, 2020] “Two Nurses, Smoking”

This story is broken up into titled paragraphs.  The title often works as the first part of the first sentence.  At first I didn’t understand this technique, but by the end it made a lot of sense.

The story is indeed about two nurses smoking.

Gracie grew up living in a motel that people paid for week by week.  A high school counselor encouraged her to go to nursing school.  Marlon grew up on the Shoshone reservation then his mother moved East and married a man who drank as much as she did.  He had been in the war and has a scar from an IED. (more…)

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New_Yorker_September_11_2000-2015_02_20_13_56_46-1000x1400SOUNDTRACK: KAWABATA MAKOTO [河端一]-INUI 1 (2000).

a2061426618_16Kawabata Makoto [河端一] is the guitarist and mastermind behind Acid Mothers Temple.  The band is hugely prolific.  But he still had time to record solo albums.  Often times without any guitar.

This was Kawabata’s first solo LP, now available on bandcamp

from way back in 2000 (about 100 releases ago, in Kawabata terms). Originally released by the mighty SIWA label in a tiny, hand printed edition of 300, this has long been the most sought-after Kawabata item, pretty much impossible to track down without a wallet full of ebay slush funds. The music, as on all of Kawabata’s INUI series releases, is intensely personal and introspective, with long tracks built up of soft-focus layers of mid-fi violin, sarangi, oud, sitar, bouzouki, etc.

And that’s what this is.

The credits indicate that he plays violin, sarangi, oud, sitar, bouzouki, lyra, shou, nei, and sings.

There are three tracks.

“Shin” (11:09) is a quiet drone of him playing any or all of the instruments mentioned.  I like the middle eastern drone style paired with a kind of lead bowing improv.  The piece ends with a fifteen second moaning voice.  The voice is French film maker and musician Audrey Ginestet.

Tai (9:45) is combination of drones and plucked notes.  He sings a melody along with a bowed solo, making this song very calming.

Son (21:45) is nearly twenty minutes of unchanging drones.  It can really make you feel transcendent.  After about 16 minutes his voice comes in, echoing and distant.

This album is not for everyone, but it can certainly put you in a different head space.

[READ: August 15, 2019] “Water Child”

Nadine is a nurse.  She has moved to Brooklyn from Haiti and is living by herself.

The story opens wit her receiving a letter from her parents. It is positive and warm and asks her to call them.  Nadine wants to call but does not. For days and weeks.  But she reads the note several times a day, marveling at the lightness of the airmail paper.

Nadine ate lunch by herself.  A fellow nurse, Josette’s lunch began when Nadine’s ended and they crossed paths every day.  But their conversations were brief and functional. (more…)

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