Chris Brown, 65

Your songs?

Idumea, Charles Wesley
This should be sung in 3 parts — a copy of the music score follows below.

And am I born to die
To lay this body down
And as my trembling spirit fly
Into a world unknown

A land of deepest shade
Unpierced by human thought
The dreary region of the dead
Where all things are forgot

Soon as from Earth I go
What will become of me
Eternal happiness or woe
Must then my fortune be…

Lost Cities Many Streams: THE LANDSCAPE SPEAKS
words and video by Johanna Poethig; music by Chris Brown
Here’s a link to the song.

Time passes
Still of no concern for her
She untangles her hair with her fingers
she dissolves into a shadow
Time presses on the atmosphere
It ripples out and explodes
In an avalanche
sucked down by the heat of
steaming flesh
playing in light and dark
releasing the pulsing
of their hearts
to the freedom
of traveling without
the baggage of their bodies…

The Cards are thrown
Weighted by ancient magic
And the certainties of mathematics
shaped into ones and zeros
Set into screens
arrangements of information
destinations are divinated

A pilgrimage has begun
In electro magnetic reverie
The Sub-colonials become shades
Of gray and violet
Tracking memories
in different locations in time
ground down by the weight of walking
and mapping the land in songs
Measuring each step in time
Beating out
The moment that enfolds all the others
And makes a scar…

Reefs for coral
Burial mounds
of progress and
endless gadgets
stupas to meditate on
the relics of fossil fuel
remembering the oceans…

The landscape speaks
In whispers and groans
Stretched out along jagged lines
circling deep canyons
sinking into pools…

Look up from the screen
see the stars falling.
The hills roll over and sigh
Listen for the cycles
As they cross and overlap
Rest on this plateau in time
Air is liquid
Singing maps
Splashing into ear drums
silent tracks
Explore eternal place
There is no sound in space

A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke, 1964
(Play the original recorded version, and sing along!)

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ever since
It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will
It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there, beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will…

Where/how to share these?

RE: performing the songs live; I can’t really advocate my own desire as strongly as I’d like, because two out of the three songs I selected depend on recordings. So I’ll fall back to this one wish: “Idumea” MUST be sung a capella, or no GO!

Down in my gut, I know that music is really an activity rather than a thing. We (me too) are too used to thinking of it as someTHING, rather than an outcome of a human process that we participate in, where we are changing a song up every time it happens. But my first musical memory is also of my three-year-old ears up as close to a loudspeaker as possible.

And “A Change is Gonna Come” should be sung to by everyone who knows even some of the words — karaoke ensemble (not solo), please.