'Corbandie' is a poem in Scots about the birth of my daughter: the word 'corbandie' means some insuperable argument, and is used at the end of the poem to suggest the moment of birth is something the unborn child might agree or disagree about, but has to comply with. The word for the crow which is the ostensible subject of the poem, 'corbie,' comes from the French 'corbeau.' This poem was translated into Swiss German, a language which has an analogous relationship to German with Scots' relationship to English, by Raphael Urweider. This is the fourth poem for the Dubious Saints site.
This is the second file for the Dubious Saints site, 'Santiiketan.' The poem is about a trip to Visva-Bharati, the university in Santiniketan founded by Rabrindanath Tagore, in the company of Debanjan Chakrabarti, who was working for the British Council. It was translated into Bengali by Sampurna Chattarji.
This is a radio project completed years ago for Stockton's Arc Centre, preserved here in two parts. It features contributions from David Kinloch, Sean O'Brien, Katrina Porteous and Mark Robinson, and settings of work by myself and Sean and Katrina by the late Keith Morris, a marvellous and influential figure on the North East jazz scene, much missed.
In it I impersonate the mad monk and wannabe MOR DJ Brother Guglielmus. In this segment he takes requests from Grace Darling and the captain of a permanently-sinking ship. More info can be found on this decidedly elderly website.
The final soundfile is, appropriately, the departure from a station, which segues into an old song about a cab-driver complaining how the Metro system is putting him out of business.
We hope to post a recording of a complete show at some point soon, so do check back to hear how the project is progressing.
File number four is the conclusion of the Paskha edit plus the sound of a train departing, also recorded on board.
You'll have gathered by now that the reading these files interrupt takes the audience on a metaphoric journey through the descent into history, a kind of calendar/timetable of the imagination, with the 'stations' represented by key moments of encounter with Russian culture.
In the book there are a number of such moments -- Easter, May Day, and the more common rituals of attending a football match (Lokomotiv Moscow, naturally), or visiting a banya (Astrakhanskiy, as it happens).