Saturday, September 3, 2011

“Darn That Dream” within a dream

I was sitting in a music shop, playing “Darn That Dream” with an old woman as a guitar duet (key of G). Her guitar: an arch-top with a painting of a yellow rose. My guitar: I don’t know. And then I was reading. The pages looked like the pages of a Paris Review interview. I attended to these words: “Every fret works,” which meant not that the guitar was in good condition but that a guitarist should use the entire range of the fingerboard — as I do, in dreams and when I’m awake.

Dream sources:

A family trip to Elderly Instruments earlier this summer. Thus the old woman in the music shop.

A passage from John Trimble’s Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing. Trimble advocates a middle style that involves “a mingling of contraries: formal and informal diction, objectivity and subjectivity, impersonality and directness,” using every fret, so to speak. I was looking at this passage with a class yesterday.

Trimble taught at the University of Texas at Austin. Thus the yellow rose.

That I was dreaming might explain the choice of “Darn That Dream,” no? My favorite recording of the song is Billie Holiday’s, with Ben Webster (tenor sax), Harry “Sweets” Edison (trumpet), Jimmy Rowles (piano), Barney Kessel (guitar), Red Mitchell (bass), and Alvin Stoller (drums). Music by Jimmy Van Heusen, lyrics by Eddie DeLange. Listen.

[Analyzing your own dreams is a good way to save money. Why hire a professional?]

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