Litanyimage.jpg

STREAMING NOVEMBER 2020

in collaboration with Valhalla Media Live

FEATURING

Emily Cox

Jennifer Barrett

Mary Lutz Govertsen

Jimmy Morehead

New Vocal Music

by Elizabeth Rudolph
with poetry by

the composer,

Julie Ann Ball,

& Yvonne Strumecki

 
 
 
Yoga Practice

PROGRAM

Time Stops (0:12) (Julie Ann Ball) 
Mary & Jimmy


Litany (Explicit Lyrics(Yvonne Strumecki)

Litany for the Sexually Lost (4:55)

Things You Never Say (8:31)

Street Sex (15:03)

Emily & Jimmy

The Singer Laments Their Breath 
(17:30) 
(Yvonne Strumecki)

Mary & Jimmy

Just a Phase 
(23:45) (Elizabeth Rudolph)
arr. Jimmy Morehead
Jennifer and Jimmy

 
Red Lips

TEXTS

Time Stops
I remember how we used to measure time

the hand that passed the 12 o'clock hour

midnight and noon

and halfway in between

each we rose to meet the day

and we fell to meet the night

we did our working thing

and our grocery shopping

banking, oil changes for the car,

and the daily crossword puzzle

buried in the daily news

that was a mirror for yesterday's headlines

we did all that

until a cool breeze

on a hot August day

stopped time

to measure moments

in breaths of memories,

in songs in Spring.

and night and day

and summer and winter

became the same

and death and birth

and birth and death

mixed up all together

so we could never measure time

and we saw it never ends

a cool breeze on a hot August day

in the middle of March.

12 March 1997 - Julie Ann Ball

Things You Never Say 

You must be really tired

because you’ve been running

through my mind all day

UR so hott

Your body is bangin’

Those tits are huge

What size cup are you?

Can I get your number

or Can I call you sometime?

I'd really like to see you again

I'd really like to see you

I'd really like to... 

fuck you

because age ain’t nothin’ but a number

Baby, You know you want it--

even when in reality, yes

he really is a thirty-one-year-old virgin

Is a normal man so hard to find?

So why can’t you find him?

Stop trying

Stop trying to find men

Stop trying to find men online

Why can’t you 

just look around you?

You’re so wonderful

You’re so beautiful

You’re so damn intelligent

Flattery will get you nowhere

Flattery will get you everywhere

Flattery will get you

when you are in that much pain

Will you massage my back?

Is the laundry done?

Is my dinner ready?

I’m leaving

I’m waiting

I am going to

wait.

Stop.

Don’t stop

Maybe only this once

This will be the last time

I promise

I care

I love you

I swear

I can not

Yvonne Strumecki

Litany for the Sexually Lost

Sex is a silent humming, a master machine in the back of men’s minds, always ​running ready for the revelation that she just might actually want

Sex, the pulsing warmth within a woman’s waiting body that can never quite be ​touched enough times in the places only she knows for sure

Sex, is everything leading to the hovering seconds before two lips can delight ​in the release from the ache of waiting for

Sex is nothing but two bodies being smothered, limbs together entangled but one ​never quite knowing what the other will do next for

Sex, the pushing, pulsing, grinding to a halt, is it over, are you finished, was that it, just once more, give me five minutes and I’ll try again for

Sex, being something that I once remembered doing
    needing
    wanting
    having
    done

Yvonne Strumecki

Street Sex

 

I used to like that silent come- 

fuck-me gaze men give, walking 

down heated summer streets 

unaware. He starts

at my legs in the dark-

 

washed jeans, perfectly boot cut, rising

up over my thighs and stomach to rest

at my breasts, my lips and linger

there, for a moment I see 

 

dark eyes meeting mine. A tear of 

flesh he wants to fuck - his indecent thought 

caught in this single stare. A stranger 

 

no more for that brief moment. I know 

his thoughts are spent. My breath 

leaves parted lips, dry with wanting. The need

for more than just a look conveyed,

 

and again I am left alone

walking down pavement 

untouched.
Yvonne Strumecki

The Singer Laments Their Breath

I stand behind the curtain
alone, waiting for the rise,
holding onto the only thing
I hold dear. Wanting to exhale,
but unable to let go. Afraid of
a sound so close,
as if my breath were
the only thing escaping.

My lungs unwilling to expand
enough. Air leaving my lips
too quickly. The phrase is lost. 

I, the desperate fool who dreamed
of the stage; a singer needing
more than the silent crowd
waiting bated for the next
act to begin. Bravo being
so far ahead that I cannot
fathom holding onto this forever.

Yvonne Strumecki

Just a Phase
canvas and wood, fresh air and teen sweat

finding my way in the dark 

knowing they stacked the odds against us

but her lips were soft

 

plastic paneling, backdrop for appraisal

in a space intended for my search

you were meant to be my guide and mentor

but full of judgement

 

A sky full of stars, a lake full of memories, here I am me.

strong as an oak, supple as a reed, I see me.

 

limestone and beer, crisp winter and twin beds

learning all about myself and you

I learn to stand tall and be sincere

but still feel like a souvenir

 

A sky full of stars, a lake full of memories, here I am me.

strong as an oak, supple as a reed, I see me.

 

They said it was just a phase, but I'm older and older and still the same.

You said it was just a phase, but twenty three years later I’m still the same. Still the same.

 

too hot half the year, too grey in the winter

finally appreciated with you

city full of friends, space for our diversity

accidentally found my home

 

A sky full of stars, a lake full of memories, here I am me.

strong as an oak, supple as a reed, I see me.
Elizabeth Rudolph

 

PROGRAM NOTES

Time Stops:

This poem was written by my aunt in the week after my grandmother died. It deals specifically with the feeling of hollowness when someone you care about leaves this life. Suddenly the mundane things you used to do with that person take on this preciousness and meaning that one may or may not have noticed before. In this time of pandemic, with so many people dying, I wanted to write a song dedicated to those of us who have lost loved ones. It's especially difficult in this time because we're so isolated, which means a lot of people are dying (not necessarily of COVID) without the opportunity to say goodbye. I did try to keep the musical language of this piece as accessible as possible in order to allow it to speak to a wider range of people. 

 

 

Litany Set: (Language Warning?)

This set of pieces deals with some taboo topics: female sexuality, female pleasure, societal norms and what happens when we break them, gender roles, relationship problems, etc. Litany For the Sexually Lost has a repetitive piano part that reflects the heart and breath of the lovers as they entangle while the vocal line rides over that with commentary. Things You Never Say is a very complicated poem and a very complicated piece. The 5/4 meter and the syncopation is intended to create a sonic world of discomfort and breathlessness. The lyrics are harsh and difficult to hear and to sing. The vocal line is awkward and disconcerting. Street Sex seems like a simple poem of a public interaction of strangers, but there's more to it than that. It is a woman owning her body. It is an interaction of equals, consenting adults. The running bass line is the pulse of the city around them, continuous and unrelenting...

 

The Singer Laments Their Breath:

This piece for voice and drone is presented here with only one voice, but is also possible with a group of voices all singing in their own time. This poem took on fresh, raw meaning when the COVID-19 virus arrived. The performance industry has been hit extremely hard by this pandemic and the...random assortment of responses by governments around the world to control it. All of us musicians are waiting in the wings for the moment when we can finally take that stage again. Until that day, the chord won't change. We're stuck in our living rooms and empty halls, making art with little collaboration and no feedback from our audience. It's a piece of mourning and also of hope that our industry will survive this.

 

Just a Phase:

This song was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall by Jimmy Morehead and the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. It is autobiographical and I hope it conveys some of the things I've felt and experienced when it comes to my sexuality over the decades since I came out. It is in standard pop/rock song form, with verses and a chorus and a bridge.

© 2020 by Elizabeth Rudolph. Proudly created with Wix.com

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