La Danza Poetica #43 Fire and Ice

Everything ends, everything begins, every moment, seasons change. Fire and ice, we need both to live. This month on La Danza Poetica, LAPKAT puts aside the constant hunger for things ‘new’ to focus deeper. From Autumn in Australia to Spring in Europe in 80 minutes. Can you come with me? The Apollo Saxophone Quartet’s* collaboration with poet Lemn Sissay is one of the deepest word/music journeys you can take - expressive, cinematic, arresting. Robert Frost’s 1920s poem Fire and Ice observes the end of the world with the cool objectivity of someone who is part of, not just observing, the changes of seasons. There is a goal! So, let’s become the rain…

A mix of old and new: Undersea Poem (Brazil), Groovalizacion’s own Izem, Manuel Volpe (Italy) and Mop Mop with Anthony Joseph, Amin Payne (Australia), Kraums Notho (France), Yas and the Lightmotiv (France), Quelle Chris (USA), Philip Davenport (UK), Ta-ku and Repeat Pattern (Australia/USA/Japan), TAGi and Steven Beatberg (France).

*please forgive me for calling them an orchestra through the show - they are a quartet!


Undersea Poem - Introduction to Rain
Izem - Seasons (feat. Aminah Dastan)
Apollo Saxophone Quartet & Lemn Sissay - Lost Bronze (Autumn)-Will Gregory
Robert Frost - Fire and Ice
Manuel Volpe & Rhabdomantic Orchestra - Maatkara (Instrumental Version)
Mop Mop - The Serpent feat. Anthony Joseph
Quelle Chris - The Living (for The Broken Brain)
Apollo Saxophone Quartet & Lemn Sissay - Hold Still (Winter)-Rob Buckland
Amin Payne - Winter In Melbourne
Manuel Volpe & Rhabdomantic Orchestra - Nostril
Kraums Notho - Je n'irai mourir pas au Cap-Ferret... Quoique... (excerpt)
Quelle Chris - I'm The Bridge You Must Burn (feat. Bilal Salaam)
Yas & The Lightmotiv - Spring
Apollo Saxophone Quartet & Lemn Sissay - May Day (Spring)-Tim Redpath
Philip Davenport - EQ Of Summer
Pablo Neruda - Poema Nº 14
Beryoza - Summer Of Haze-Wet Ya Head
brrwd (Ta-ku) - You&I
TAGi & Steven Beatberg - L'un Des Paons Danse Des Heures (FAITH) With Sly Johnson
Apollo Saxophone Quartet & Lemn Sissay- My Mountain Top (Summer)-Andy Scott

Notes on the show

I've been wanting to feature the four seasons from the album Words and Pictures since playing the Summer (My Mountain Top) track exactly two years ago, in the May 2014 show La Danza Poetica #20 - Word Sound 'Ave Power. Lemn Sissay - it's hard to know where to start. Let's start with the recent - last year he was elected Chancellor of Manchester University. Lemn has been an educator for many years, teaching and supporting young poets. It's good to know the students of Manchester are in good hands. And I don't mean that in any kind of flippant way. Lemn is not only a poet of words but of intellect and emotion. He is smart, funny and reflective. I'd have many poems of his to recommend, but my favourite is actually the one that closes this show, the one that inspired me to make this show this month. Lemn also made a documentary about Gil Scott-Heron (which is fitting since Gil is the unofficial honoured ghost of this show) that I'd love to link you to, but it's not currently available on the BBC website. Sometimes they replay: check here

I'll share again the quote that I share in the show, from Andy Scott, of the Apollo Quartet, about My Mountain Top:

Inspired by Summer, more specifically lying outside in the sun, closing your eyes and reaching a levl of deep relaxation. A crackle throughout the piece represents the slow burning of skin and four alto saxophones transport us into a state of semi-consciousness. Lemn's magical words then become our thoughts in this seemingly never ending meditative state. 

You can read more about the album Words and Pictures here.

Also it is no lie (not that I would ever lie to you) that Manual Volpe's album has been on high rotation in the LAPKAT household. It's a sublime mixture of rhythms and sounds and poetry; it goes on that shelf reserved for "when jazz is the perfect bed for cross cultural love making" ... I'm not even going to try to categorise this music beyond that statement! Instead, I'll share this video, from a couple of years ago, when he wasn't on my radar: