The Longing for Repetition Dinner

This time of the year is a high time for longing, for many things but amongst others for the ever recurring return of spring.

What do you long for? What do you need to be repeated over and over?

Menu: Humus, Baba ganoush, Ful medames, Tabouleh, Red lentil köfte, Imam bayildi (the Imam who fainted), white mulberries, pickles, pomegranates, majika

– Contributions –

Aidan: Run On – A Villanelle 

Ushered by tides, by revolution
left leg flies right after right
testing limits, your constitution.

Though city hacks up sick pollution
traffic swirls, run on at night
ushered by tides, by revolution.

Hurtle through darkness – with resolution
tracing rivers, slipping out of sight
testing limits, your constitution.

Surpass, pass brittle institutions
towers trawling blank building sites
ushered by tides, by revolution.

Muscles shriek. Sustain your persecution.
Stretch body. Cross the moon’s spotlight
testing limits, your constitution.

Worn down, the earth makes restitution
offers miles. So in ceaseless flight
ushered by tides, by revolution
test your limits, your constitution.

Rimi: Angelo Badalamenti revealing how he wrote ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’ on an old Fender Rhodes w/ David Lynch by his side

Genevieve: Saudade by Cesaria Evora

Iante: Sheherezade – 1001 Nights

Aras: Umm Kalthoum – El Qalb Yaashaq  القلب يعشق كل جميل – ام كلثوم

Olivia: Live session of BCUC performing Yinde – The Way/We Go 

Annina: Hafez Naseri – Existence Life from Rumi Symphony Project Untold 

Schubert’s Impromptu Op.90 No.1 

Musab: Schubert’s Nacht und Träume

Ollie: I have a couple of songs from Kardes Turkuler’s album “Spring”. The gentle melodies of this album take you on a pleasant journey / astral projection through Anatolia and the Kurdish region.

Kardes Turkuler – Yaniyorum (an Armenian, Alevi and Turkish song)

Literally translates as “I’m burning”. About someone heartbroken who fell for a rose and got burnt 🙂 Spring will be the rebirth. New fortunes await.

Kardes Turkuler – Gulsum (actually a song dedicated to a strong woman from the Black Sea, but also general acknowledgement for rural women who work the fields, tend to animals, raise children). I suppose, in some way, this song tells us that mundane, repetitive everyday tasks should be treated / greeted with respect, perhaps honour.

Jake: Steve Reich’s Piano Phase 

…Steve Reich has achieved this tabula rasa especially by prioritizing the use of repetition, a strategy that allows him to create “music as a gradual process.” In a 1968 text, he clarified his approach: “The distinctive thing about musical processes is that they determine all the note-to-note (sound-to-sound) details and the over all form simultaneously. (Think of a round or infinite canon.) I am interested in the perceptible processes. I want to be able to hear the processes happening throughout the sounding music. To facilitate closely detailed listening a musical process should happen extremely gradually.”

Unlike Cage, who uses random processes to influence the course of the narrative, Reich opts for a more collective search, a liberating ritual that permits multiple combinations of musical phrases from which he extracts the final material.

“What I’m interested in is a compositional process and a sounding music that are one and the same thing. … The use of hidden structural devices in music never appealed to me. Even when all the cards are on the table and everyone hears what is gradually happening in a musical process, there are still enough mysteries to satisfy all,” he said. “These mysteries are the impersonal, unintended, psycho-acoustic by-products of the intended process. These might include sub-melodies heard within repeated melodic patterns, stereophonic effects due to listener location, slight irregularities in performance, harmonics, difference tones, etc.”

Zoe: So tell me, what is it that you wish to repeat?

For me, it would be the sound night’s sleep I had while staying in a Japanese inn. The sound of the rain, an apple, a knife, thermos of green tea. A gigantic duvet. The best slumbers.



by Billy Collins

Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.
Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent, a badly broken code.
The 1790s will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.
I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.
Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.
As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

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