Another Musical Setting for Jabberwocky

Tenniel JabberwockWe recently posted about Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves, and their new Contrariwise album, which includes a musical setting of the poem “Jabberwocky.”  We have just received a link to another musical setting of the famous poem, this time for piano and voice:

“Listen to JABBERWOCKY, a musical setting by New Mexico composer Joanne Forman, with bass-baritone Christopher Wyndham and pianist Martha Grossman.

For further information about the music of Joanne Forman, e-mail: jofo@kitcarson.net.

With special thanks to Cultural Energy, a non-profit organization in Taos, New Mexico, creating media voices, with over 3000 audio archives.”

To listen to Ms. Forman’s version of “Jabberwocky,” click me.

Contrariwise: New Alt Rock Album of Songs from Wonderland and Looking-Glass

Contrariwise Album CoverAttention, shoppers! Are you looking for some new Holiday “Carrolls” for yourself or someone else? Is there a Carrollian on your list who claims to have “everything” in the world of Alice music?  Well, we’ve just received this note from Daniel Hales, of the indie alt/rock/folk band Daniel Hales, and the Frost Heaves:

“Our 3rd album: Contrariwise: Songs from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass is now available for purchase on CD Baby (either the entire, physical album, a download of the digital album, or selected tracks). For this album we adapted (almost) all of the poems in the two “Alice” books for music–and also wrote a few Alice-themed originals. These adaptations were originally composed and performed for a stage production of “Alice In Wonderland,” but can now provide the soundtrack for your own adventures in magical realms: http://cdbaby.com/cd/danielhalesandthefrosthe

Daniel sent me a preview copy of the album, and while everyone’s tastes are of course different, I think the musical settings are quite fun. You can sample any or all of the tracks before buying, so check it out, and if you like what you hear, shop away!

To give you the flavor of their music, Daniel also shared this clever video they made for Jabberwocky, animating Tenniel’s original illustrations (if the video doesn’t load, try refreshing this page in your browser, or click me to view it on Vimeo):

 

Contrariwise Kickstarter Update and New YouTube Clip

This just in….

“First, I want to offer our thanks for posting a link to our album pre-sale for “Contrariwise: Songs from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland andThrough the Looking-Glass” on your site. I don’t know if you post any updates on projects in process, but we have 63 hours left and have only met about 30% of our goal. The homepage for our campaign is: http://igg.me/at/Contrariwise and here’s our most recent video update showing a session where we added “hundreds of voices” to the chorus of “Queen Alice” by recording in a former bank lobby, as well as a clip us performing “They told me you had been to her… ” at the Hilltown Spring Festival: http://youtu.be/9CrwC9ErDEM
We thank you ninety-times-nine!
Daniel Hales, on behalf of Daniel hales, and the frost heaves.”

So, if you like indie/alternative music and enjoy supporting Carrollian music projects, you might want to check out their links before their fundraising campaign expires.

New Alice-Themed Music Project

We’ve just received the following note about a new indie music effort and Indiegogo campaign:

I’m writing because my band is recording an album of poem-song adaptations from “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass.” We’valready recorded half the tracks, and we launched an Indiegogo album pre-sale campaign on May 4th to raise the funds needecover the costs of additional recording, mixing, mastering, and duplication. Our album, “Contrariwise,” will be released on November 4th. I hope you’ll consider posting a link to our Indiegogo page, where we have a letter describing the project in more detail, as well as a 4 minute video that includes snippets fromrough demos of our versions of “Jabberwocky,” “Beautiful Soup,” “Queen Alice,” and others:http://igg.me/at/Contrariwise

If you’re into Alice-themed music, you might want to check it out!

Contrariwises Rejecting Apology; or, Did Lewis Carroll burn his secret collection of Lolicon manga?

Our post on the controversies and pseudo-controversies surrounding Carroll’s character generated some small discussion (“teach the controversy”, as the Kansas School Board might advocate). The folks at Contrariwise continued with a longer reaction. I quote Ms. Karoline Leach at length:

from Alice in the Shadows by Maria Bodmann

[...] we send our sincere thanks to the LCSNA bloggers for so generously giving us the space. We have also linked to you.

Tangentially though, in conjunction with something a commenter here said the other day, the reference to ‘certain questions’ has got Contrariwise thinking.

Suppose you give a false alibi to a man in order to get him acquitted of a crime you know he probably commited – if it later turns out he didn’t do it after all, does that make what you did right?

I don’t think it does, does it? And that’s the weird problem at the heart of Carrollianism right now, that I think needs to be looked at.

[... continue reading...]

The LCSNA blog that features us is headed “Special Report: Was Lewis Carroll a gay Mormon and were the Alice books written by J.D. Salinger?”, referencing some of the many stupid things that have been said about Carroll over the years. It’s a joke, but in its way it makes exactly the point Contrariwise is trying to make.  Because those things aren’t ‘myths’ are they?  They’re just loony ideas no one has ever taken seriously.  The point about the myths we are concerned with (his child-obsession, his avoidance of adult society, his passion for Alice Liddell),  is that  they were promulgated by serious Carroll scholars and believed  by  everyone until very recently. The notion of the man as a pedophile arose out of these myths as an inevitable, and  very reasonable  conclusion. It couldn’t, and can’t be just laughed off as ridiculous,  and taking that line is just Apology again. No one will take you seriously if you sell the image that has been sold  for so long and simply ask people to take your word that  – honestly  –  he wasn’t what you are obviously painting him to have been.

[...continue reading...]

There’s some more interesting comments below that post, and feel free to continue the discussion in the comments here. The shadowy illustration above is from Alice in the Shadows, Maria Bodmann’s Balinese-inspired shadow puppet play.

Special Report: Was Lewis Carroll a gay Mormon and were the Alice books written by J.D. Salinger?

From a 1952 edition of AAIW (Juvenile Productions) with watercolors by Willy Schermele

This blog doesn’t regularly deal with certain questions (italics mine, as was the rest of that sentence.) And the new LewisCarroll.org’s FAQs don’t go there. Contrariwise, Mark Burstein usually starts his question-and-answer sessions with: “The answers to the first two questions are ‘No, he wasn’t’ and ‘No, he didn’t.'”

The LCSNA doesn’t shy away from these bothersome issues even if they’re occasionally bothered by them. However, there are reputable places on the internet specializing in debunking Carroll myths. For instance CarrollMyth.com, which offers various levels of depth depending on how long your myths want to spend being debunked. That user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing website is run by Karoline Leach, author of In the Shadow of the Dreamchild: The Myth and Reality of Lewis Carroll (Peter Owen Ltd., 1999, $29.95). There’s also a new blog: carrollmyth.wordpress.com. Here she is at work:

The respected journo Robert McCrum reviews Jenny Woolf’s book The Mystery of Lewis Carroll in the Guardian, and concludes…what exactly? That Carroll has been misunderstood and somewhat abused, as Ms Woolf suggests? That a re-assessment is overdue, as Ms Woolf suggests? That, at last, we’re getting a clearer picture of a complex man?

Nope. He concludes Dodgson was either (sigh, not again) in love with little Alice Liddell , or – this is the best bit – with her ‘ten-year old brother’!?

Here it is in his own words:

More than either of these, it is a poignant love story: the repressed yearning of a solitary man for a resolution to his inner frustrations. Was he in love with Alice’s 10-year-old brother or, with Alice Liddell herself? No one will ever know the truth of that mystery .

Ookay…

Well, ’solitary man’, ‘repressed yearnings’, this is all the standard vocab of anyone writing about Carroll for the past sixty years, but not even the most myth-bound commentator has ever suggested Carroll was gay (well, apart from Richard Wallace, but he also thought Carroll was Jack the Ripper, so, you know, enough said), and Jenny Woolf’s book does not (I know for a fact), contain any insane riffs about possible pederasty involving young male Liddells.

So, the truth of that particular ‘mystery’, Mr McC, is that you just made it up.

Jenny Woolf, for her part, has a related article in the April 2010 Smithonian Magazine, which just went online today, called “Lewis Carroll’s Shifting Reputation: Why has popular opinion of the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland undergone such a dramatic reversal?

And as for the Far-Flung blog, we will devote more time to the farthest flung among us (there are books proving that Mark Twain and Queen Victoria wrote Alice, exegeses outlining his Orthodox Judaism, and we weren’t kidding about his being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Carroll has been posthumously baptized by the Mormons at least eight times.)