DIAL & OATTS
T H AT M U S I C A LWAY S R O U N D M E Lyrics By
MUSIC BY GARRY DIAL AND DICK OATTS FEATURING THE TEMPLE UNIVERSITY CONCERT CHOIR & Vocal JAZZ COLLECTIVE RICHARD DeROSA, CHORAL ARRANGEMENTS // SPECIAL GUEST, TERELL STAFFORD, TRUMPET
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You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me, I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone, I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
That Music Always Round Me (Autumn Rivulets) That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long untaught I did not hear, But now the chorus I hear and am elated, A tenor, strong, ascending with power and health, with glad notes of daybreak I hear, A soprano at intervals sailing buoyantly over the tops of immense waves, A transparent base shuddering lusciously under and through the universe, The triumphant tutti, the funeral wailings with sweet flutes and violins, all these I fill myself with, I hear not the volumes of sound merely, I am moved by the exquisite meanings, I listen to the different voices winding in and out, striving, contending with fiery vehemence to excel each other in emotion; I do not think the performers know themselves—but now I think I begin to know them.
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To the Garden the World (Children of Adam) To the garden the world anew ascending, Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding, The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being, Curious here behold my resurrection after slumber, The revolving cycles in their wide sweep having brought me again, Amorous, mature, all beautiful to me, all wondrous, My limbs and the quivering fire that ever plays through them, for reasons, most wondrous, Existing I peer and penetrate still, Content with the present, content with the past, By my side or back of me Eve following, Or in front, and I following her just the same.
To the East and to the West (Calamus) To the East and to the West, To the man of the Seaside State and of Pennsylvania, To the Kanadian of the north, to the Southerner I love, These with perfect trust to depict you as myself, the germs are in all men, I believe the main purport of these States is to found a superb friendship, exalté, previously unknown, Because I perceive it waits, and has been always waiting, latent in all men.
O You Whom I Often and Silently Come (Calamus) O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you, As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you, Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me.
Disc Two Go, dear friend, if need be give up all else, and commence to-day to inure yourself to pluck, reality, self-esteem, definiteness, elevatedness, Rest not till you rivet and publish yourself of your own Personality.
Old Ireland (Autumn Rivulets) Far hence amid an isle of wondrous beauty, Crouching over a grave an ancient sorrowful mother, Once a queen, now lean and tatter’d seated on the ground, Her old white hair drooping dishevel’d round her shoul ders, At her feet fallen an unused royal harp, Long silent, she too long silent, mourning her shrouded hope and heir, Of all the earth her heart most full of sorrow because most full of love. Yet a word ancient mother, You need crouch there no longer or the cold ground with forehead between your knees, O you need not sit there veil’d in your old white hair so dishevel’d, For know you, the one you mourn is not in that grave, It was an illusion, the son you love was not really dead, The Lord is not dead, he is risen again young and strong in another country, Even while you wept there by your fallen harp by the grave, What you wept for was translated, pass’d from the grave, The winds favor’d and the sea sail’d it, And now with rosy and new blood, Moves to-day in a new country.
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Reconciliation (Drum-Taps) Word over all, beautiful as the sky, Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time be utterly lost, That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world; For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead, I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin—I draw near, Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.
The Voice of the Rain (First Annex: Sands At Seventy) And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower, Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here trans lated: I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain, Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottom less sea, Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and yet the same, I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe, And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn; And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin, and make pure and beautify it; (For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering, Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
To a Stranger (Calamus) Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
from left: Dick Oatts, Garry Dial, Richard DeRosa
COMPOSER NOTES We are grateful to have had the honor of working with the greatest singers in New York. Like the Temple Choirs they gave of their time and expertise in a selfless way, sometimes coming in on a moment’s notice to record. They have performed on Broadway, at Jazz at Lincoln Center and recorded on many GRAMMY® winning recordings that include such artists as: Sting, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Placido Domingo, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, The Roches, Paul Simon, The New York Voices and Gerry Mulligan.
—Dick Oatts & Garry Dial What is so striking about Walt Whitman’s poetry is that you can envision him in your world, and you in his. It is like time travel through poetry. His thoughts are provocative and eternal and his insights are as equally profound today as yesterday. You can hear the “balling and din,” feel the bodies touching, see his view from the Brooklyn Bridge and smell the horse carrying the pioneers out west. With this in mind, Dial &Oatts decided that Whitman and jazz both represent the originality, beauty and resilience of American culture. It is our desire to bring new focus to the poetry of an American icon through the music we love and compose. The poems were chosen based on the inspiration and passion that drew us in and spoke to us individually. Adding melody to Whitman’s text was initially intimidating. It took some time for us to settle into the vernacular of his day. Developing the appropriate harmonic progression and rhythmic flow without crowding his mood and message was challenging. Two of our past three projects included a 12 piece chamber brass setting and 30 piece string section. Both were used as backdrops to the Dial & Oatts quartet. This time we needed the words of Whitman to take center stage. This is why we chose the sensational Temple University Concert Choir and Jazz Collective to vocalize them. The right key centers, dynamics, soloing, voice ranges, orchestration and rhythmic intensities would become paramount. At this juncture, we called in the amazing talents of Richard DeRosa. As in our past recordings, Rich understood our vibe immediately and opened up further windows of possibility. His expertise and contribution were invaluable and masterfully brilliant.
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You forget you are sick, as I forget you are sick, You do not see the medicines, you do not mind the weep ing friends, I am with you, I exclude others from you, there is nothing to be commis erated, I do not commiserate, I congratulate you.
Yet we walk unheld, free, the whole earth over, journey ing up and down till we make our ineffaceable mark upon time and the diverse eras, Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers as we are.
Sometimes with One I Love (Calamus)
Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me? (Calamus)
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love, But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is cer tain one way or another (I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d, Yet out of that I have written these songs.)
Are you the new person drawn toward me? To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose; Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal? Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover? Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction? Do you think I am trusty and faithful? Do you see no further than this façade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me? Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man? Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?
To Him That Was Crucified (Autumn Rivulets) My spirit to yours dear brother, Do not mind because many sounding your name do not understand you, I do not sound your name, but I understand you, I specify you with joy O my comrade to salute you, and to salute those who are with you, before and since, and those to come also, That we all labor together transmitting the same charge and succession, We few equals indifferent of lands, indifferent of times, We, enclosers of all continents, all castes, allowers of all theologies, Compassionaters, perceivers, rapport of men, We walk silent among disputes and assertions, but reject not the disputers nor any thing that is asserted, We hear the bawling and din, we are reach’d at by divi sions, jealousies, recriminations on every side, They close peremptorily upon us to surround us, my comrade,
To a Pupil (Autumn Rivulets) Is reform needed? is it through you? The greater the reform needed, the greater the Personality you need to accomplish it. You! do you not see how it would serve to have eyes, blood,complexion, clean and sweet? Do you not see how it would serve to have such a body and soul that when you enter the crowd an atmos phere of desire and command enters with you, and every one is impress’d with your Personality? O the magnet! the flesh over and over!
THE POEMS From “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman Modern Library Edition, 1993. Random House, Inc. New York.
Disc One Poets to Come (Inscriptions) Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come! Not to-day is to justify me and answer what I am for, But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known, Arouse! for you must justify me. I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future, I but advance a moment only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness. I am a man who, sauntering along without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you and then averts his face, Leaving it to you to prove and define it, Expecting the main things from you.
Unfolded Out of the Folds (Autumn Rivulets) Unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded, and is always to come unfolded, Unfolded only out of the superbest woman of the earth is to come the superbest man of the earth, Unfolded out of the friendliest woman is to come the friendliest man, Unfolded only out of the perfect body of a woman can a man be form’d of perfect body, Unfolded only out of the inimitable poems of woman can come the poems of man, (only thence have my poems come;)
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Unfolded out of the strong and arrogant woman I love, only thence can appear the strong and arrogant man I love, Unfolded by brawny embraces from the well-muscled woman I love, only thence come the brawny embraces of the man, Unfolded out of the folds of the woman’s brain come all the folds of the man’s brain, duly obedient, Unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is unfolded, Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all sym pathy; A man is a great thing upon the earth and through eter nity, but every jot of the greatness of man is unfolded out of woman; First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped in himself.
To One Shortly to Die (Whispers of Heavenly Death) From all the rest I single out you, having a message for you, You are to die—let others tell you what they please, I can not prevaricate, I am exact and merciless, but I love you—there is no escape for you. Softly I lay my right hand upon you, you just feel it, I do not argue, I bend my head close, and half envelop it, I sit quietly by, I remain faithful, I am more than nurse, more than parent or neighbor, I absolve you from all except yourself spiritual bodily, that is eternal, you yourself will surely escape, The corpse you will leave will be but excrementitious. The sun bursts through in unlooked-for directions, Strong thoughts fill you and confidence, you smile,
Dial & Oatts would like to extend a special thank you to the Boyer College of Music and Dance faculty involved: Joanna Pascale, Dan Monaghan, Madison Rast and Terell Stafford, along with Maestros Paul Rardin and Mitos Andaya. Their willingness, knowledge and dedication were crucial in making this (huge) project a reality. Equally crucial were the solo and studio vocalists who performed so beautifully during our New York and New Jersey sessions. Their sacrifice and contribution was an inspiration. Sean Kelly was our extraordinary engineer at Water Music and Avatar recording studios. Sean has the ability to make any talent sound better. The Boyer Choral program is truly exceptional and our deepest appreciation and respect goes out to each and every choir member. Working to blend unique styles of music from different backgrounds has always been a dream of mine. It would not have been possible without the support and constant encouragement of Dean Robert T. Stroker, Linda Fiore, Dr. Beth Bolton, Dr. Ed Flanagan, Tara Webb Duey and my favorite trumpet player, educator and department chair, Mr. Terell Stafford. I would especially like to thank my partner, Garry Dial, for all his passion on piano, composition and dedication into putting friendship first. Lastly, I would like to thank Sam, Jane, Jack, Henry, Alaina and Debbie for their constant love, patience and understanding. I dedicate this recording to the singer/songwriters and poets out there. Keep on expressing what is inside you as Walt Whitman did. We need to hear what you have to say.
—Dick Oatts New York City, March 2014 Note: The poems selected from “Leaves of Grass” are from the following sections: Inscriptions, Autumn Rivulets, Calamus, Drum-Taps, First Annex: Sands At Seventy, Whispers of Heavenly Death, and Children of Adam. Also, the track, “To Him Who Was Crucified,” is loosely based on the melody and chord structure of Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are.”
In the early 1990’s, Dick Oatts and I made three recordings with our jazz quartet for DMP records. One with a 30-piece string orchestra, one with a brass choir and one for a quartet. After many years of gigging and recording separately, Dial & Oatts once again decided on a large work. Oatts thought it was time to record with a full choir. Our next step was to find a text to set to music. My father had a bookcase with all the classic literature bound in beautiful leather. For some reason I was always drawn to Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” especially the poem “To a Stranger.” I suggested to Dick that we write our music to his poems. Dick asked Temple University, where he is a professor, if they were interested in having their choir be part of the project. Dean Stroker loved the idea. We set out three years ago and began to write. Once again the Dial & Oatts concept, as was done with the strings and brass, was to have the choir do what they do best and sing without jazz inflection except for the lead vocal soloists. Oatts insisted that the phrasing of the choir be clear with no exaggerated inflection. Just serve the poetry. Although I have worked with singers since I was 14 years old I had never written music with lyrics. Since Whitman is poetry and not lyrics there was a specific challenge presented. I had to find a new writing process. I lived with each poem until I could say the poem in rhythm. I wrote the lyrics in drum notation until it sat in the pocket. This took much longer than I expected. Once it was finished I had the joy of putting melodies and harmony to the rhythms. To my surprise, the music wrote itself very quickly. Of the eight tunes written by myself, all were created with this process except the one a cappella piece, “Unfolded out of the Folds.” This one had a very unusual birth. Three summers ago I was in my home in St. John, USVI, working on the music. I wrote the first line “Unfolded out of the folds of the woman man comes unfolded “ and I looked up and saw Hurricane Irene coming across the ocean straight at me. In one minute water was all over the floor. I mopped up the floor and wrote the second line, then the living room began to flood again and I mopped again. Every 15 minutes this new compositional style repeated itself. After 24 continuous and very scary hours, the hurricane ended and “Unfolded” was completed. Although it was a very interesting process I don’t recommend it to composers.
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I suggested we incorporate well-known New York singers with the Temple University Concert Choir to fuse our concept. We recorded top singers who have worked with Billy Joel, Sting, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett and Celine Dion, to name a few. The music is a merging of professionals and the up-and-coming singers from the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Once again we teamed up with Rich DeRosa who wrote the vocal arrangements for the choir and conducted all the professional singers. We also added guitar players Paul Meyers, Alex Goodman and percussionist Jamey Haddad to round out the burning Boyer faculty rhythm section. Many thanks to the conductors, Paul Rardin and Mitos Andaya for going the extra mile. I would also like to point out that in this age of the Millennial Generation it was pure joy working with the talented Boyer students. They were all respectful, hard working and full of enthusiasm. I was blown away that in such a short time frame they memorized our challenging music. They made Temple proud. They are the wave of the future and the future is bright. I would like to say special thanks to Richard DeRosa for his genius writing, conducting and studio expertise but also his extreme generosity. He flew to New York for eight separate weeks, working 18 hour days in the studio just to make our music come to life. We are forever grateful. A special thanks to singer-songwriter Terre Roche, not only for her beautiful singing and production help, but for her expertise in the written word. Jazz instrumentalists sometimes fall short in paying attention to the lyrics. Terre taught me the importance of the lyric and how to bring Whitman’s subtlety and depth into our musical focus. And finally to my musical brother Dick Oatts: you have always pointed me towards our next musical project and insist on living life as a humble artist. You have been and continue to be a true inspiration in my life. It has been said that Dial & Oatts have very different personalities yet are a match that complements each other well. Without speaking, we found it interesting that I chose poems about personal relationships and Oatts chose poems of a more global nature. The words of Whitman, while being 150 years old, are timeless and have given both Dick and myself a huge palette to express who we are both as music partners and as individuals.
—Garry Dial New York City, March 2014