Alex Raichev

I wish nothing else...

I wish nothing else but to speak simply
please grant me this privilege
because we have burdened our song with so much music
that it is slowly sinking
and our art has become so ornate
that the makeup has corroded her face
and it is time to say our few simple words
because tomorrow our soul sails away

~ Giorgos Seferis, 1940

Translated by Christos Papadimitriou from the Greek original:

Δε θέλω τίποτε άλλο παρά να μιλήσω απλά,
να μου δοθεί ετούτη η χάρη.
Γιατί και το τραγούδι το φορτώσαμε με τόσες μουσικές
που σιγά σιγά βουλιάζει.

Και την τέχνη μας τη στολίσαμε τόσο πολύ
που φαγώθηκε απ’ τα μαλάματα το πρόσωπό της.
Κι είναι καιρός να πούμε τα λιγοστά μας λόγια
γιατί η ψυχή μας αύριο κάνει πανιά
Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: poem
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Lucky Charm

By Billy Martin from 'Illy Beats Volume 2'.

Lucky Charm

Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: beatlog, audio, drums
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Mahi

Mahi is a traditional Haitian vodou rhythm. Here is a recording of the rhythm from the instructional album Drum by Geoff Johns. And here is a transcription of the rhythm by me.

Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: beatlog, audio, drums
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Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818
Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: poem
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Rocking Man

By Billy Martin from 'Illy Beats Volume 2'.

Rocking Man

Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: beatlog, audio, drums
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Snow Geese

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
a flock of snow geese, winging it
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden. I
held my breath
as we do
sometimes
to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us
as with a match,
which is lit, and bright,
but does not hurt
in the common way,
but delightfully,
as if delight
were the most serious thing
you ever felt.
The geese
flew on,
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them
as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.

~ Mary Oliver, 2004
Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: poem
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The Cyclotrope

vimeo~21016797

Video sourced from Vimeo here.

Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: video, bicycle
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The Last One

Well they’d made up their minds to be everywhere because why not.

Everywhere was theirs because they thought so.
They with two leaves they whom the birds despise.
In the middle of stones they made up their minds.
They started to cut.

Well they’d made up their minds to be everywhere because why not.

Everywhere was theirs because they thought so.
They with two leaves they whom the birds despise.
In the middle of stones they made up their minds.
They started to cut.
Well they cut everything because why not.
Everything was theirs because they thought so.
It fell into its shadows and they took both away.
Some to have some for burning.

Well cutting everything they came to water.
They came to the end of the day there was one left standing.
They would cut it tomorrow they went away.
The night gathered in the last branches.
The shadow of the night gathered in the shadow on the water.
The night and the shadow put on the same head.
And it said Now.

Well in the morning they cut the last one.
Like the others the last one fell into its shadow.
It fell into its shadow on the water.
They took it away its shadow stayed on the water.

Well they shrugged they started trying to get the shadow away.
They cut right to the ground the shadow stayed whole.
They laid boards on it the shadow came out on top.
They shone lights on it the shadow got blacker and clearer.
They exploded the water the shadow rocked.
They built a huge fire on the roots.
They sent up black smoke between the shadow and the sun.
The new shadow flowed without changing the old one.
They shrugged they went away to get stones.

They came back the shadow was growing.
They started setting up stones it was growing.
They looked the other way it went on growing.
They decided they would make a stone out of it.
They took stones to the water they poured them into the shadow.
They poured them in they poured them in the stones vanished.
The shadow was not filled it went on growing.
That was one day.

The next day was just the same it went on growing.
They did all the same things it was just the same.
They decided to take its water from under it.
They took away water they took it away the water went down.
The shadow stayed where it was before.
It went on growing it grew onto the land.
They started to scrape the shadow with machines.
When it touched the machines it stayed on them.
They started to beat the shadow with sticks.
Where it touched the sticks it stayed on them.
They started to beat the shadow with hands.
Where it touched the hands it stayed on them.
That was another day.

Well the next day started about the same it went on growing.
They pushed lights into the shadow.
Where the shadow got onto them they went out.
They began to stomp on the edge it got their feet.
And when it got their feet they fell down.
It got into eyes the eyes went blind.

The ones that fell down it grew over and they vanished.
The ones that went blind and walked into it vanished.
The ones that could see and stood still
It swallowed their shadows.
Then it swallowed them too and they vanished.
Well the others ran.

The ones that were left went away to live if it would let them.
They went as far as they could.
The lucky ones with their shadows.

~ W. S. Merwin, 1977

Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: poem, audio
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The Sick Rose

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

~ William Blake, 1794

My rough draft of a musical setting The Sick Rose

Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: poem, audio
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Thursday

I have had my dream --like others--
and it has come to nothing, so that
I remain now carelessly
with feet planted on the ground
and look up at the sky --
feeling my clothes about me,
the weight of my body in my shoes,
the rim of my hat, air passing in and out
at my nose --and decide to dream no more.

~ William Carlos Williams, 1921
Author: Alex Raichev
Date: 2012-04-24
Tags: poem
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