End of December & End of Year 2008

To end this year here is “December,” a drawing/collage from my Calendar series with a poem by Nicole Brossard. This song will be part of my new CD to be released in spring 2009:

“Whisk, don’t Churn!”
A Live Recording
Nicole Peyrafitte with Michael Bisio

Remember, if you are in NYC on New Year’s Day do come to see us at the St Mark’s Poetry Poetry Project 35th Annual New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon. Pierre Joris, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte & myself –and about an other 140 poets, musicians & dancers– will perform from 2pm into the euphoric early morning. We are scheduled to appear in the early afternoon (between 2 & 3PM) and I also will be flipping crepes in the Parish Hall until I run out of my gallon of bater. Voilà for now! & Thank you for reading my blog and some of you since I have started back in March. The readership is seriously increasing but I would love to get more feed back.
Until next post: Bona Anada, Bonne Année, Happy New Year!

Ovid, May & Fava Beans (I)

It is time to brush up on our Latin, celebrate the month of May & eat fava beans!
According to Ovid the origin name May, could derives from maiores –the elders. The ritual he describes in the Fasti’s book V –transcribed and translated below– certainly supports it.

“Cumque manus puras fontana perluit unda,
Vertitur et nigras accipit ante fabas,
Aversusque iacit; sed dum iacit, ‘
haec ego mitto,
inquit ‘
redimo meque meosque fabis.’
Hoc novies dicit nec respicit: umbra putatur
Colligere et nullo terga vidente sequi.
Rursus aquam tangit, Temesaeaque concrepat aera,
Et rogat ut tectis exeat umbra suis.
Cum dixit nouies: ‘Manes exite paterni!’,
Respecit et pure sagra peracta putat.”

“Once his hands were cleansed with spring water, he turned around and took the black fava beans. While throwing them one by one behind his back he says: ‘I offer these fava beans, with them I redeem myself and my people.’
He says it nine times without turning around. Meanwhile, without being seen, the shadow is supposed to collect the fava beans. Then he touches the spring water and rings the Témésa bronze. Now he commands the shadow to live the house. For that he will say nine times: ‘ Out, manes of my fathers‘”.

The drawing/collage above titled V (May) is part of a series of 12 drawings-collages developed into a performance piece: “The Calendar”, I premiered in 1997. The performance consisted of a computer projection of an animated version of the drawings and the singing of texts accompanied by musicians. For the first six months Ovid’s Fasti primarily inspired the texts. In this case directly connected to the rituals Ovid describes in Liber V (verses 419-445) cited above.

Next post will be a simple recipe of fresh fava beans. Happy May!