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by vaisvil

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Mysterious Cat

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A serial improvisation in 12 equal setting Vachel Lindsay’s 1931 reading of his poem “The Mysterious Cat” to musical accompaniment. Vachel Lindsay is considered the father of modern singing poetry, as he referred to it, in which verses are meant to be sung or chanted. His numerous correspondences with the poet Yeats detail his intentions to revive the musical qualities in poetry as had been practiced by the ancient Greeks. Because of his use of American Midwest themes he also became known as the “Prairie Troubador.”

The accompaniment consists of 2 bass guitar lines, Rhodes electric piano, acoustic drum kit, African percussion, Eastern Indian percussion, rhythm guitar, and lead guitar. Vachel’s reading was noise reduced and processed through Roland’s “v-vocal” and constrained to E minor without the notes G and C. The recording was made in Sonar X1.

A chant for a children’s pantomime dance, suggested by a picture painted by George Mather Richards.

I saw a proud, mysterious cat,
I saw a proud, mysterious cat
Too proud to catch a mouse or rat—
Mew, mew, mew.

But catnip she would eat, and purr,
But catnip she would eat, and purr.
And goldfish she did much prefer—
Mew, mew, mew.

I saw a cat—’twas but a dream,
I saw a cat—’twas but a dream
Who scorned the slave that brought her cream—
Mew, mew, mew.

Unless the slave were dressed in style,
Unless the slave were dressed in style
And knelt before her all the while—
Mew, mew, mew.

Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
Mew . . . mew . . . mew.

Guest said

Most interesting, different and well played.

thetworegs's avatar
thetworegs said

That vocal sounds like your playing it on the guitar excellent

launched's avatar
launched said

Oh yeah, I dig it, bro! I love the intelligence you put into your tracks.

Guest said

sweet guitar work vaisvil!

Breaking Light's avatar
Breaking Light said

One of those "wow wish I'd done that" tunes. Excellent guitar work and conception!

kirklynch's avatar
kirklynch said

Wow- great piece of work. Love that processed vocal!

richardlaceves's avatar
richardlaceves said

well done,,, very pretty

Norm's avatar
Norm said

What an interesting, if not somewhat sad, story about a poet I had never heard of. I love your bass work here.

epimeison's avatar
epimeison said

Very quite and nice...

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