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Fragments of Solitude

by Cameron Lam

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1.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman Dedication to the Duke of Bejar (lines 1-4) Steps of a wandering pilgrim are these, The verses my sweet muse dictated to me: in perplexing solitude Some lost, yet others enlivened and inspired.
2.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The First Solitude (lines 28-33) He kisses the sand, and from the shattered ship the spare and meager fragment that brought him to the beach he offers the rocks: even crags confess themselves flattered by signs and shows of gratitude.
3.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The First Solitude (lines 321-328) Liquor that Aurora wept -if nectar is what she weeps - before the Sun, is dried by the bee, early riser to sip at flowers and drink crystal drops, in cells of liquid gold, in honeycombs contained in the gallipot carried by a mountain lad.
4.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The First Solitude (lines 572-583) A spacious circle made a peaceful center for more avenues than a star has beams of white poplars or perhaps of alders, and this is where the Spring -shod in Aprils, clad in Mays- brings the gleam of crystal waves to flinty rock rimmed round with jonquil blooms. This center, then, the shaded destination was of cowherds proximal, delicious object of those come from afar, where, even more weary than the traveler, the road came to a rest.
5.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The First Solitude (lines 897-903) May the response of Fortune to your farming be applause. To the importune plow, to the troublesome hoe may a grateful field produce for you – in uneven days – well-threshed gold and nectar pressed.
6.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The Second Solitude (lines 149-155) Die, beloved enemy, let my fault die, and your disdain, too late a penitent, keep for it a mere sigh that makes my death content though it is not follow by a fleeting or indifferent or weary tear that dries before it is even wept.
7.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The Second Solitude (lines 651-661) For your sake we see the pilgrim leave behind castles, where sight overcome by the sublime, calls upon their beauty; where architecture rebels against geometry, wearing shoes of jasper, clothes of porphyry. Poor hut, crowded with nets he enters now, and you abandon him! Take wing, young god, and flying from complaints, return them both to their barks while your rigor allows sleep!
8.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman The Second Solitude (lines 825-831) The crowd has not yet disturbed the banks of the tranquil lake whose looking glass the timid kingbird forgives. No arrow shot by bowstrings presumes to equal its unequal tips, for in vain does a feather adorn a shaft as it adorns a wing.
9.
Text from The Solitudes by Luis de Góngora as translated by Edith Grossman Dedication to the Duke of Bejar (lines 1-4) Steps of a wandering pilgrim are these, The verses my sweet muse dictated to me: in perplexing solitude Some lost, yet others enlivened and inspired.

about

Fragments of Solitude is based on the exquisite translation of Luis de Góngora’s The Solitudes by Edith Grossman, published in 2012. The work, is immense so I have taken glimpses and fragments of the text
rather than whole 2000 lines but I thoroughly recommend reading the full text if this piece has interested you in any way.

Rather than a strict setting of Góngora’s narrative I instead wanted to follow the fragments of the pilgrim’s journey as a metaphor of self-exploration and the power and terror of solitude, the time when we get know ourselves.

Each song deals with a different section of the pilgrim’s journey and another aspect of the self.

credits

released December 14, 2015

Composer: Cameron Lam
Author: Luis de Góngora
Translator: Edith Grossman

Soprano: Amelia Golding
Piano: Alison Cameron
Sound Engineer: James Passfield

Cover Art: Hayden Shepherd Photography

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about

Cameron Lam Sydney, Australia

Composer, gamer, amateur trapeze artist and Artistic Director of Kammerklang.

My music mixes my love of fantasy and nostalgic video game chip tunes, with my obsession for movement and my classical music training.

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