Saturday, August 13, 2011

"The Big Dipper" by Rick Hawkins & eleanor roosevelt (picture, song)

My friend and colleague Rick Hawkins posted this photograph he took of the Big Dipper on his typepad.

He snapped it at a summer camp (in central Tennessee, I'd guess, where he lives). Rick has a deep personal connection to the camp, he said. Also, as an artist, he appreciates "the absence of ambient light pollution. The sky is bright with stars."

His post reminded me of the song my band eleanor roosevelt wrote and recorded titled "The Big Dipper". I sent it to Rick and will post it here.

"The Big Dipper"
(eleanor roosevelt)
eleanor roosevelt

It's not our greatest work. It didn't make the cut for the next batch of songs we intend to release, Water Bread & Beer. But I like it enough as an excuse for a blogpost with Rick's picture.

I stumbled on "the absence of ambient light pollution" far from central Tennessee. I was on the wide plains of Western Canada, coming back from Edmonton, Alberta, when I saw  the sky bright with the stars of the Big Dipper and wrote the words and melody to the song. When I saw the Big Dipper, it looked like "a heavenly trickle". I took it from there, attempting an extended metaphor for what I consider to be one of life's greatest pleasures.

Not only a visual artist, Rick is a musician and singer I really want to work with in Poetry Scores. His projects Jackson Pollock Microphone and Magna Man Remembered are close in spirit to what we do. It's almost embarassing that we haven't incorporated Rick's work into one of our poetry scores by now.

Rick did host a successful event at his home in Murphreesboro for Poetry Scores' one and only (thus far) Southern Poetry Tour, and we have every intention to screen our first movie Blind Cat Black at his place.

Going back to the beginning, Rick was a cofounder of Hoobellatoo, the field recording collective that spawned Poetry Scores. Rick was with Lij and me when we met and first recorded the late Leo Connellan, the first poet we scored. Rick's striking portrait of Leo, standing on the foyer at his publisher, Curbstone Press, graces the back of our first poetry score CD, Crossing America.

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