Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

December 9, 2007

44 HARMONIES (KSE #79) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 2:59 pm

My own new chapbook, 44 HARMONIES (KSE #79), Volume 27 in the Sound Library Series, is now available. Set in the Midwest and the mind, it contains 44 three-line stanzas, each a piece of the mosaic. I was going to describe it as “kaleidoscopic,” but as I did a little research, I discovered it’s actually teleidoscopic. Check this definition from the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society: ” In a TELEIDOSCOPE, there is no endpiece containing color, only a clear lens that turns everything it is pointed toward into a kaleidoscopic image. Brewster referred to the teleidoscope as the purest form of a kaleidoscope, because the viewer is not limited by the objects in an endpiece. Rather, the whole world becomes his kaleidoscope. It’s been said that the ultimate value of the teleidoscope is the potential each viewer has to see the artistic value in his own environment. ” I would also compare the chapbook’s structure to that of a quilt, the subject matter of the pieces being the world as seen from the plains of Kansas or Northern Oklahoma. I lived in the Sooner State in the late 70s and early 80s, and I got to know Kansas well also during that period. However, 44 HARMONIES takes place TODAY–the topography, politics, culture, and economy are all current. It’s a cry in the late 2007/early 2008 Wilderness that is contemporary America.

The musical inspiration for this piece is John Cage’s 44 Harmonies for Apartment 1776 (composed in 1976 during the Bicentennial). Cage’s method in 44 Harmonies could best be described as “art by subtraction.” Based on 18th Century American songs and hymns, Cage’s work is a beautiful and understated and mysterious one, and I hope that I have captured some of that beauty and understatement and mystery in my own 44 Harmonies. The chapbook and the artwork are all in shades of grey… as are a lot of other things.

Presently in the on-deck circle at KSE is Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, with his new KEEPERS OF SILENCE (KSE #82). It’s scheduled for December 20, but with the holidays coming, we may release it a few days earlier.

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