Myth and Memory

by Donna Wickham

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released October 30, 2011



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Donna Wickham Denver, Colorado

Donna Wickham, a continually surprising Denver musician with a beautiful and flexible voice, has set her sights high on her debut jazz recording. The vocalist, who recorded previously as a classical choral musician and a background singer, created her debut jazz recording during the past year, partly as a result of her collaborations with the great pianist Art Lande.

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Track Name: Invocation
Child of the sun, come to end the long winter.
Child born of beauty, can you free us from our fear?

Lady of Love, mistress of magic, you, who beckon to the fallen,
sprinkling morning dew and summer sunlight as you pass.
Daughter of time, sayer and wise one, don you falcon cloak and fly to me.
You and I have searched for beauty that transcends all substance, rising beyond ecstasy.

Teach me in dreams, wisdom and prophesy.
Let your golden tears fall earth bound.
All your amber teardrops fall upon the water glimmering.
Fly to me now, stay with me always.
Harken to your child and come to me.
Sing your song and weave enchantments that divine the future,
bending will and bending fate so I may fly.
Track Name: The Search
Gone, gone, gone away.
Now he is gone, gone away.

Sing your song of mourning, Lady.
Lift your eyes up to the sky.
Cry, cry, cry, Od! Od!

Fly, fly, fly away.
So fly, my lady, fly away.

Let your tears fall like golden rain.
Never was flying so mournful
as the search for your love.

Tears fall like golden rain.
Track Name: You Are the Future
Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation by Robert Bly (used by permission)

You are the future, the immense morning sky
turning red over the prairies of eternity.
You are the rooster-crow after the night of time,
the dew, the early devotions, and the Daughter,
the Guest, the Ancient Mother, and Death.

You are the shape that changes its own shape,
that climbs out of fate, towering,
that which is never shouted for, and never mourned for,
and no more explored than a savage wood.

You are the meaning deepest inside things,
that never reveals the secret of its owner.
And how you look depends on where we are:
from a boat you are shore, from the shore a boat.
Track Name: Willow
Poem by Anna Akhmatova

And I grew up in patterned tranquillity,
In the cool nursery of the young century.
And the voice of man was not dear to me,
But the voice of the wind I could understand.
But best of all the silver willow.
And obligingly, it lived
With me all my life; it's weeping branches
Fanned my insomnia with dreams.
And strange!--I outlived it.
There the stump stands; with strange voices
Other willows are conversing
Under our, under those skies.
And I am silent...As if a brother had died.
Track Name: Under Her Dark Veil
Poem by Anna Akhmatova

Under her dark veil she wrung her hands.
"Why are you so pale today?"
"Because I made him drink of stinging grief
Until he got drunk on it.
How can I forget? He staggered out,
His mouth twisted in agony.
I cried: 'A joke!
That's all it was. If you leave, I'll die.'
He smiled calmly and grimly
And told me: 'Don't stand here in the wind.' "
Track Name: I taught myself to live simply
Poem by Anna Akhmatova

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life's decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.
Track Name: Pájaros
Al crepusculo, habia una sinfonia de pájaros,
y nosotros éramos el public embelesado.
Nosotros nunca habiamos oido musica tan harmosa
y nos conmovió a lagrimas.
Nosotros no sabíamos su idioma
así que nosotros no sabíamos
de lo que cantaron.
Los pájaros sabian lo que yo me negaba ver.
To estabas enamorada de otro.
Los pájaros cantaron mi canción de pena, mi canción.
Ellos lloraron y lloraron esa tarde.
Al crepusculo, lloramos cuando los pájaros cantaron una sinfonia
En el vestibule de los dioses Mayas.
Éramos el rey y la reina del reino,
Para quienes los pájaros cantan.
Ellos cantaron nuestra saga, el amor, Los triunfos, y la tragédia del fin.

English translation:
At dusk, there was a symphony of birds,
and we were the audience.
We had never heard such beautiful music
and we were moved to tears.

We did not know their language,
so we didn’t know what they were singing about.
The birds knew what I could not see.
You were in love with another.
The birds sang my song of sorrow, my song.

They cried and cried that day.
At dusk, we cried when the birds sang a symphony
in the hall of the Mayan gods.
We were the king and the queen, of the kingdom for whom the birds sang.
They sang of our saga, the love, the triumphs,
and the tragedy of the end.
Track Name: November 1
Today, I slept in.
Today, I slept in.
And when I woke, it was sunny and warm,
so I did my laundry and hung it on the line.
I rode my bike to my dad’s house;
he’s and old man now.
We talked about money and politics,
and we agreed to disagree.

No more sorrow now.
It seems that it’s okay to finally live again.
The pain left so slowly, that I didn’t notice it was gone ‘til now.

Later, I’m folding that laundry outside,
working slowly, enjoying the warmth of the sun.
And I know that this is enough for me.
I’m tired of striving for what I’ll never be.
There’s enough beauty in this day for me.