Wednesday, January 5, 2011

twelfth night

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
Umberto Eco (b. 5 january 1932) medievalist, philosopher, novelist

according to some traditions january 5th is twelfth night and this evening marks the official end of the christmas holiday season. alas, I can't really say it's the end of the season for this little mouse, as I'm still working on my cards!

with twelfth night in mind, I've selected a tune from trevor nunn's 1996 film adaptation of shakespeare's play as one of today's song. the film is entitled twelfth night: or what you will ; among the actors in the film are ben kingsley as feste, the fool, and helena bonham carter in the role of olivia. come away death is one of several tunes that feste performs in the play/film.

today is also the birthday of the amazing singer songwriter elizabeth (libba) cotten (b. 5 january 1895 - d.1987). ms cotten was a self-taught guitarist who during the 1950s became a close personal friend of the seeger family. her association with the seeger family was probably a factor in the advancement of her career and popularity.

you may not recognize the name elizabeth cotten, but if you enjoy the blues and folk music, you surely have heard her songs or are familiar with musicians who were influenced by her and recorded her songs. it was difficult to select one tune, however, I'm quite fond of shake sugaree, and I really like this version as it features libba on guitar and her 14 year old granddaughter, brenda, provides the sweet vocals. libba's best known song probably is freight train, it seems like everyone and their cousin in the folk music circles sing it (here's a version of freight train by our friend pete)

photo: wall art, barcelona march 2007


Alan Burnett said...

Picasso as graffiti artist, love it.

Kate Hanley said...

Great stuff. I have worked on and seen several productions of 12th Night. One of my favorites had Feste as clown and "master of ceremonies" who sort of Emceed the play. I've also seen several horrible productions with weird interpretations. I think it's so enduring because of it's amenability (sp?) to being adapted and interpreted.

Roy said...

**sigh** If I were still back in Newport I'd be going to the Twelfth Night revels tomorrow night; the Westerly Morris Men run it every year and it's a lot of fun. Nobody around here does anything like that.

Merle Sneed said...

Ah, the havoc we cause by trying to enforce our own brand of mystical sense to life.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

if there is one city in the world where picasso is a natural for inspiring graffiti artists it would be barcelona! when em and i were there we visited the museum of picasso's early works and checked out some of his old haunts!!

kate - feste is a narrator in nunn's adapation too. must be great to work on such incredible pieces of art such as twelfth night!

roy - maybe you can start a something new there in your current neck of the woods.... expect philly would have some serious revels with morris dancers, etc....but maybe not....

merle - wonderful rephrasing of eco's quote!!!!!

37paddington said...

what a fabulous quote from eco.