Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton – Music And Poetry Of The Kesh (1985/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 40:53 minutes | 399 MB | Genre: Ambient
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Freedom To Spend
Composer & analog synthesist Todd Barton created an album of music as an integral part of Ursula K. Le Guin’s groundbreaking novel, “Always Coming Home”. The main peoples of this book are call the Kesh. Originally released in 1985 as a cassette tape bound with the hardback printing, “The Music and Poetry of the Kesh”, which features readings of Kesh poetry by Ursula Le Guin, finally have be re-issued on CD and vinyl in March 2018.
Ursula K. Le Guin, the master writer who died in January at the age of 88, was best known for her novels The Dispossessed, her Earthsea series, and the best-selling The Left Hand of Darkness, which imagined a planet whose inhabitants have no fixed gender identity. After Darkness was published in 1969, it became a classic of both science fiction and of feminist science fiction, a genre Le Guin helped bore into existence.
“Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope,” Le Guin said in a fiery speech at the 2014 National Book Awards. “We’ll need writers who can remember freedom—poets, visionaries—realists of a larger reality.”
In her final months, she was preparing the re-release of a 1985 work that had largely flown under the radar. Music and Poetry of the Kesh, her collaborative album with composer and analog synthesist Todd Barton, was first issued on cassette in 1985, bundled with Le Guin’s novel Always Coming Home, a dark-horse favorite among her readers. It’s an expansive, 523-page portrayal of a future tribe of indigenous people living an anti-colonial existence 500 years from now, their lives ruled by nature and the seasons, their story told by Le Guin in fiction, poetry, plays, recipes, ethnography, a glossary, and hand-drawn maps. Even given those wildly melding genres, Le Guin claimed she needed to “hear the music,” too. She enlisted Barton and began an elaborate and carefully considered process that yielded the deceptively verisimilar Music and Poetry of the Kesh.
01 – Heron Dance
02 – Twilight Song
03 – Yes-Singing
04 – Dragonfly Song
05 – A Homesick Song
06 – The Willows
07 – Lullaby-Lahela
08 – Long Singing
09 – The Quail Song
10 – A Teaching Poem
11 – A River Song
12 – Sundance Poem
13 – A Music of the Eighth House