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Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet

Poetry has been defined as “words that want to break into song.” Musicians who make music seek to “say something”. Parlando will put spoken words (often, but not always, poetry) and music (different kinds, limited only by the abilities of the performing participants) together. The resulting performances will be short, 2 to 10 minutes in length. The podcast will present them un-adorned. How much variety can we find in this combination? Listen to a few episodes and see. Hear the sound and sense convey other people's stories here at Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet At least at first, the two readers will be a pair of Minnesota poets and musicians: Frank Hudson and Dave Moore who have performed as The LYL Band since the late 70s. Influences include: Patti Smith, Jack Kerouac (and many other “beat poets”), Frank Zappa, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart), William Blake, Alan Moore, The Fugs (Ed Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg), Leo Kottke, Ken Nordine (Word Jazz), Bob Dylan, Steve Reich, and most of the Velvet Underground (Lou Reed, John Cale, Nico).
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Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet
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Now displaying: 2024
Apr 18, 2024

Sarojini Naidu's poem of stalwart Bengali fishermen asked to be sung, so I sang it. The author may have had a melody in mind, as she published this in a section of her poetry she called "Folk Songs." Naidu began as a promising poet ("The Nightengale of India") but left verse to for work for women's suffrage and Indian independence. 

The Parlando Project takes words (usually literary poetry) and combines them with original music. We've done nearly 750 of these over the years, and you can find them and remarks about our encounters with the poetry at our archives and blog located at frankhudson.org

Apr 16, 2024

William Wordsworth's well-known sonnet performed, as the word sonnet means, as a little song. Within the next 24 hour or so, I hope to have more to say about what you may have overlooked in this short poem on the Parlando Project's blog (see below). We've got a lot at the blog celebrating poetry and National Poetry Month.

The Parlando Project combines words (usually literary poetry) with original music in different styles. We've done nearly 750 of these combinations, all of which are available (along with short essays on our encounters with the words) at our blog: frankhudson.org

Apr 12, 2024

For National Poetry Month this year I'm looking at and performing poems found in a pair of 1920s anthologies of verse for children. The Girls of Verse and The Boys Book of Verse.  Though "The Minstrel Boy" was included within books of poetry, this poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore was quicky adapted as a song and is best known as such today. 

Which saves me from writing the music for today's audio piece. The Parlando Project takes various words (usually literary poetry) and normally combines them with original music, We've done over 700 of these combinations, and you can read more about this and hear them all at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Apr 10, 2024

Today I read a summary of poet Mary Oliver's approach by poet and critic A. M. Juster. He concluded: "I also think her spirit wanted to write religious poetry, but her mind wouldn't let her."

Lo & behold I was working this week on a singable version of this 1906 poem that I found in a collection of verse for children published in the 1920s that I'm examining as part of my National Poetry Month observance. Obviously. its author William Carruth was decades too early, but it seemed to be part of that conversation.

The Parlando Project combines various words (usually literary poetry) with original music in different styles. We've done over 700 of these, and you hear them and read more at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Apr 9, 2024

We're celebrating National Poetry Month with musical presentations of poems taken from a gendered pair of 100-year-old anthologies published as The Girls and The Boys Book of Verse.  Today's is John Masefield's famous poem of seafaring. 

The Parlando Project takes words (usually literary poetry) and combines them with original music we write and perform. We've done over 700 of these over the years and you can read about this and listen to them at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Apr 6, 2024

We continue our National Poetry Month feature examination of a pair of century-old children's poetry anthologies with this famous invocation of book-fed imagination.

The Parlando Project combines various words (usually literary poetry) with original music in different styles. We've done over 700 of these things, and you can listen to them and find out more at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Apr 4, 2024

My feature this National Poetry Month is going to be examination of two 1920's poetry anthologies, one for girls and one for boys. This William Blake poem invoking childhood visions bringing joy was in the opening section of the girl's volume and it seems like an apt poem to set to music and lead off our celebration this month.

The Parlando Project combines various words (usually literary poetry) with original music in differing styles. We've done over 700 of these. If you want to read more about this or hear more of these combinations, visit our archives at frankhudson.org

Mar 31, 2024

Emmy Hemmings is a forgotten Dada artist, launching the famous Cabaret Voltaire during WWI as am organizer, performer and poet -- yet no one translated her poetry from German until this century.

I just got done doing a somewhat free translation of one of her poems, and since Hennings was a performer, it seems fitting to present her work here in the Parlando Project tradition.

The Parlando Project takes various words (mostly literary poetry) and combines them in music in different styles. We've done over 700 of these audio pieces, and you can read more about and hear those pieces at our blog and archives, located at frankhudson.org

Mar 29, 2024

Here's a poem for March, for Spring, and for Easter now turned into a song, The words were written about a hundred years ago by a largely forgotten Midwestern American poet Edwin Ford Piper. This month I wrote music for Piper's words, and today's piece is taken from a demo session where I recorded the freshly made song.

The Parlando Project does stuff like this: we take words (usually literary poetry) and combine them with original music we write and record. We've done over 700 of these over the years, and you can find them along with more information about this Project at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Mar 26, 2024

Poet Carl Sandburg goes gothic-graveyard for this poem about Love & Death. I decided to accompany my performance of it with some new music in my "punk orchestral" style, which means it's short, not-to-fancy, and uses whatever virtual orchestral instruments I can figure out something for them play. 

The Parlando Project takes various words (usually literary poetry) and combines the with original music in different styles. We've been at this awhile, so there are over 700 other combinations like (and unlike) this one you can hear at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Mar 21, 2024

Here's a playful and mysterious Emily Dickinson poem for World Poetry Day. The Parlando Project enlists The LYL Band in this one to create a full-band folk-rock song out of Dickinson's poem.

The Parlando Project has done that sort of thing for several years, taking words (usually literary poetry) and combining them with music in different styles. We have over 700 of those combinations available at our archives with some additional writing about our experiences with the poems, both available at frankhudson.,org

Mar 12, 2024

I remind myself today that I sometimes write lyrics, so here's a piece that features my own words and music. 

What the Parlando Project usually does is combine other people's words (usually literary poetry) with the variety of original music we compose and make. You can hear over 700 examples of that at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Mar 9, 2024

William Carlos Williams' Spring poem reminds us that it's never too late to sing. I had to cancel a more pristine time in a recording space this week but produced this quick & dirty version of this song using Williams' words instead. 

Spring itself, has a way of being quick & dirty -- and I'll remind you of the musicians' and composers' prayer: "May music find a way."

For more than 700 other combinations of various words (mostly literary poetry) with original music in differing styles visit our archives and blog at frankhudson.org

Mar 6, 2024

Edwin Ford Piper is an early 20th century Midwestern American poet who's largely been forgotten. I've only started to read him this week, but this poem captured me immediately and I had to perform it with music, Parlando style.

The Parlando Project combines various words (usually literary poetry) with original music in different styles. We've done over 700 of these things, and you can find out more about them and hear them in our archives at frankhudson.org

Feb 29, 2024

Poet Dave Moore's song about when "Follow your dream" or "Do what you love..." meets up with reality.

Here's the cool thing about this piece: it's not a put-down.  I play on it with The LYL Band, and I think the song applies to me. One of the Parlando Project's mottos is "All Artists Fail." You have to accept that and do what you choose to do anyway.

The Parlando Project combines various words (usually literary poetry) with original music in various styles. We've done over 700 audio pieces over the past 8 years, and you can find out more about them and listen to our archives at frankhudson.org

Feb 24, 2024

Black Chicago poet Fenton Johnson published these two free-verse poetic portraits in Others magazine in 1919, gaining him some notice as an Afro-American who was working in the avant-garde forms of Modernism.

I performed his two poems with a rock band accompaniment for today's example of what the Parlando Project does: combining various words (mostly literary poetry) with original music in different styles. We've been featuring work of this lesser-known, but pioneering, poet Fenton Johnson this month; and you find out more about him and check out our over 700 other audio pieces at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Feb 19, 2024

Pioneering Black Chicago Poet Fenton Johnson termed this poem a literary spiritual in his 1915 collection Visions of the Dark. I read it as predecessor to later Gospel songwriting, and so set it to music for this spare solo performance with just acoustic guitar and voice.

This is one example of what the Parlando Project does. We explore various words (mostly literary poetry) and combine them with original music for these performances. You can find over 700 examples of this at our archives and blog frankhudson.org

Feb 13, 2024

BONUS TRACK

Black Chicago poet Fenton Johnson was using Blues Language as early as his 1913 poetry collection "A Little Dreaming." That could make this poem an early example of a literary page poet using Blues Language. 

Just for fun I decided to create one of our rare Parlando Bonus Tracks. This version has been made to sound like an old, somewhat worn 78 RPM record as a tribute to the early Blues musicians. 

The Parlando Project takes various words, mostly literary poetry, and combines them with original music we compose and perform in different styles. Ther are over 700 other examples at our blog an archives located at frankhudson.org

Feb 13, 2024

Even in 1913, Black Chicago poet Fenton Johnson was already using Blues-language in his literary poetry.  In this poem he printed in dialect from his first book-length poetry collection "A Little Dreaming" Johnson may be encoding a message not every listener will understand. 

There will be a discussion of that and more than 700 other combinations of various words (mostly literary poetry) with original music in different styles at our blog and archives located at frankhudson.org

Feb 11, 2024

Early 20th Century Afro-American poet Fenton Johnson again shows his range with this Celtic dark fantasy poem that I've turned into a song. 

That "turned into a song" is something the Parlando Project does. We've created over 700 combinations of various words (mostly literary poetry) with original music in various styles. You can find them at our blog and archives locate at https://frankhudson.org/

Feb 8, 2024

Early 20th Century Black Chicago poet Fenton Johnson's dream poem references Virgil's "The Aeneid." I've turned it into a song as part of my month-long celebration of this lesser-known Midwestern poet who preceded the Harlem Renaissance. 

That's what the Parlando Project does: it takes other peoples words (mostly literary poetry) and combines them with original music in various styles. You can find over 700 such combinations at our archives and blog located at frankhudson.org

Feb 5, 2024

In 1906, Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first Afro-American poet to receive substantial notice, died, only 33 years old. Only a few years later in 1913, a 24 year old Black poet from Chicago, Fenton Johnson, publishes his first poetry collection which in which he pays tribute to Dunbar as he tries to pick up the standard from the fallen Dunbar.

I've made Johnson's poem into a song, and as this Black History Month continues I plan to perform more of Johnson's work and tell something of his career as part of the Parlando Project where we combine words (mostly literary poetry) with original music in various styles. You can find more than 700 examples of that at our archives and blog located at frankhudson.org

Jan 31, 2024

American poet Robert Frost assiduously read the book of nature even when the pages were blank. Here's a beautiful short poem that looks out on a wintery night and sees a blank whiteness. I've made the poem into a song accompanied by acoustic guitar.

The Parlando Project takes words, usually other people's words, usually literary page poetry, and combines them original music in various styles. You can find over 700 examples of this at our archives and blog located at frankhudson.org

Jan 25, 2024

At least on the face of it, this short Emily Dickinson poem asks for a lifetime of experience all at once, all its grief and joy. As I understood it while creating this performance with original music, she weighs grief and joy as Taoist components.

My music today for this has a touch of a slowcore approach. but I was also thinking of John Lee Hooker, and mic'ed up my foot-stomps for percussion in the electric guitar and voice recording that mimics that combination on Hooker's earliest Blues sides.

The Parlando Project combines various words (mostly literary poetry) with original music in different styles. You can hear over 700 other examples at our blog and archives at frankhudson.org

 

Jan 18, 2024

Goethe's short lyric poem in German wanders into this short folksong arrangement via an English translation by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that I slightly modified for this song performance with my music for 12-string guitar, bass, and piano.

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