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December 2017

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« Paris looks to the horizon, Greece across the table | Main | Online literature buzzes »



OK - I'm seeing a strong pattern here as I read more of your aesthetic impressions and your own creative work. The way so many of Cassandra's pices start with lovely simple piano and then her voice, lovely, young, vulnerable, present - all characteristics that are best set simply... Your comparison of Paris and Greece... There are two things that emerge to me.
First, you have a fascination for the essential, like earthy smells and tastes, life & death, eating, blood and pain, love, the feel of the ground under our feet.
It was my impression as a student of ancient Greek philosphy (at UNC-CH) that not only were Greek philosophers fascinated with the root ideas, but their very language was all tangled up with the most basic of things, and sounded like life itself. Hebrew strikes me in a similar way, as a language that is created from the sounds of earth and life and death, but both Hebrew and Greek go on to have enough superstructure to build religions, cosmologies, and metaphysics.
When I studied Latin I was overwhelmed with the cleverness, the intricate weave of the language, and particularly of the poetry, like the Aeneid. The same, it seems to me, could be said of French or Arabic. But Greek and Hebrew have gradually come into my view, like hills emerging across the valley as the mist clears later in this day that is my life, as the older and more essential places.
So I'm not surprised to see you spend so much creative energy on things Greek and Proto-Greek - regardless of your abiding love of Latin, and your daily work with it.
Second, your passion and compassion for youth. Cassandra's sound, face, themes, are all young. It's not innocence that draws you, though, I think - because it's not children you seem primarily drawn to, but the transition to adult awareness while the possibilities and desires still remain boundless. The conviction that power is limitless. The Israeli's are purported to draw their fighter pilots (the most daring in the world) solely from adolescents because so many 17 year olds believe they are immortal.
So it's not innocence, but something else that is still intact in youth. Infinite horizons. The same sort of view of the world and life that makes us godlike, creative, confident, open. Of course we inevitably discover our limitations and must overcome that realization - that is one way of defining coming of age... There is an intoxicating beauty in the young man or young woman poised on the brink of that journey, and your daily work and your creative work are planted on that edge, where you can watch, listen, and help.
I plan to order her CD. Adult artists (Paul Klee and Alexander Calder, among others) sometimes remark that their art is an attempt to learn again how to draw as children. My artistic journey is like that, too. And from that place on the road, it is possible to look backwards and forwards to the lovely work of artists like Cassandra.

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