released 08 November 2011
Track Groups and Liner Notes:
My Magnetic Sleep
Fooled By Yesterday
First, a prelude: an electronic invitation to cross over into “La Sommeil Magnétique,” inspired by Jeffrey Kripal’s chapter about French sociologist and writer Bertrand Méheust from Kripal’s extraordinary 2010 book “Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred.”
Then a new original song inspired by two vivid and optimistic dream fragments (the verse one and verse two images). This was the first new song I completed after I released “Exchange” in 2008. I consider it also my first real midlife-composed song and I felt sure that the particular combination of hope, regret and disappointment expressed in the lyric was to shift profoundly in the coming years so I wanted to record and release it on its own and let it stand as a memorial for the timbre and tone of my 43rd – 46th years. Maybe this is my own very personal century-later version of “Die Zeit……”? Though I had no idea I would ever dare to juxtapose it with my very favorite vocal composer Richard Strauss when I wrote it!
Lockdown at Fantasy
—- December Glare
—- Out of Nowhere (Green/Heyman)
—- Speak Low (Weill/Nash)
—- A Child Is Born (Thad Jones)
One piano improvisation and three of my longtime favorite jazz standards, recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California on a brisk and bright day in early winter, December 16, 2010.
Fantasy Recording Studios
Temple Hills Transmissions
—- Dance Of The Tangerines
—- May In Mesolimbia
Electronic improvisations, recorded live to the computer between May 13 and May 16, 2010 in a granite-lined cottage on a hillside near the sea in my home town of Laguna Beach, California. in the near future, I will add some more program notes about these pieces to their individual song pages here.
Die Zeit, Die Ist Ein Sonderbar Ding – Time is Weird
(Richard Strauss/Hugo von Hofmannsthal)
A famous aria from an iconic character in Opera history. This is the Marschallin’s ode to the passing of time, sung to her younger lover Octavian near the end of Act One of Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier”, which premiered one century ago: in Dresden in 1911.
This version features guitarist Erik Pearson, who magically interprets the orchestral score with both acoustic and electric guitars. When we stripped this Aria down to its essential structure, Erik and I both began to hear the legacy of Bach, Mozart and the deep, long tradition of German and Austrian vocal music contained in this short piece.
Lotte Lehman Sings “Die Zeit” (1939)
Interesting essay about Rosenkavalier
When I was studying to be a classical singer at the Oberlin Conservatory very long ago, we were always advised to arrange songs into cohesive and imaginative little groups for our Recitals. Some of us organized the music by ascending or descending historical era, some by programmatic or emotional theme, others by juxtaposing simple beauties with dissonant surrealism, others by I-Ching, phase/color of moon (hmm…) or the old standby coin toss. Yes we voice majors had a pretty exotic Ohio encampment back there in 1980s Oberlin!
For my own Senior year vocal recital in 1987 I remember singing some Rameau and Lully arias, a set of obscure Zemlinsky songs, Lukas Foss’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and some of my earliest electronic music – I think it was two Robert Creeley poem settings for voice and tape. Here I’ll offer warm gratitude again to my brilliant and brave professors at Oberlin and Stanford who nurtured my exploratory spirit and without whom I could not have become the woman who just pulled an all-nighter last night at age 46 to get her “Total Unverkaufbar” weirdo music (yes, a sternfaced guy at a German recording studio did tell me that when I was 25 years old) up online for your pleasure before my self-imposed deadline!
I have other thoughts to share about this album and how I conceived of it and finally decided to go public with things like an 18-minute improvisation and a Strauss Aria with a psychedelic electric guitar outro. But since I’m REALLY tired and need to take a nap, I’ll leave more rambling on for another day…..
Thank you so much for listening and for your open ears!
Produced by Emily Bezar
©2011 Blue Countess Music, BMI
Emily Bezar: voice, piano, keyboards, electronics
Dan Feiszli: electric bass
Erik Pearson: acoustic and electric guitars
Recorded by Dan Feiszli
at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
and at What’s for Lunch? Recording,
El Cerrito, CA
Additional recording by Emily Bezar
at Big Tree Studio, Oakland, CA
and at The Stone Room on Temple Hills Drive,
Laguna Beach, CA
Mixed by Dan Feiszli at What’s for Lunch? Recording,
El Cerrito, CA
and by Emily Bezar at Big Tree Studio, Oakland, CA
Mastered by Ken Lee
Album Photography: Christina Shook
Art and Web design: Emily Bezar