Noctambule | The Waking

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The Waking

by Noctambule

This second album from Noctambule features poetry about the passage of time, by Benet, Plath, WH Auden, Hughes and more, set to original acoustic music and rendered with two voices, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, accordion and acoustic guitars.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bastardo's Waltz
3:35 $0.99
2. The Waking
5:51 $0.99
3. Mad Girl's Love Song
6:15 $0.99
4. If I Could Tell You
5:49 $0.99
5. Sally Dupre
6:39 $0.99
6. Since I Was Begotten
3:39 $0.99
7. Out of Time
4:41 $0.99
8. September
7:35 $0.99
9. Warning
4:04 $0.99
10. Bastardo Returns
0:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Noctambule is Marla Fibish and Bruce Victor.

Our first album, Travel in the Shadows, reveled in journeys of the night, but every noctambule must eventually meet the dawn. The Waking ponders the vicissitudes, the inscrutability, and the ultimately indomitable nature of time.

We did not set out to make an album about the wages of time. But over time we noticed that the poems we selected seem to feature protagonists that are brought into some sort of idiosyncratic relationship -- or, occasionally, confrontation -- with time. Some dread the inevitability of its passing, some welcome the gifts it might confer, while others simply muse on the uncertainty of what will unfold. None of them get much say in the matter, really, but all attempt to wrest some sort of peace with (and despite) the ticking of the clock…

We hope you are not offended that we do not set the poems line-for-line, word-for-word, into songs. Our passion is making songs. Hopefully, our minor ‘adjustments’ serve the creation of the song, while preserving respect for the spirit and intent of the poem.

So with this, we offer you The Waking. We hope you enjoy it.
Marla & Bruce

Track notes:

Bastardo’s Waltz music by Fibish & Victor
Marla: mandolin, accordion
Bruce: guitar

This tune sprung forth one warm evening while we were playing outside. It so delighted Bastardo, that he claimed it as his signature tune. Note: ‘Bastardo’ is a sobriquet that was assigned to Bruce by our good friend, Barry Fisher.

The Waking poetry: Theodore Roethke; music: Fibish & Victor
Marla: tenor guitar, mandolins, vocals
Bruce: 12-string guitar, vocals
Nuala Kennedy: whistles

This poem was brought to our attention at a house concert after we had played our setting of Roethke’s Night Journey. A gentleman in the audience said, “You know...that’s not my favorite Roethke poem,” and exhorted us to put The Waking, his favorite, to music. So we did. A villanelle, it is full of provocative paradoxes: he wakes to sleep, shaking keeps him steady, and, at the end of the day, what falls away is always and is near.

Mad Girl’s Love Song poetry: Sylvia Plath; music: Fibish & Victor
Marla: tenor guitar, vocals
Bruce: high strung guitar, vocals
Aryeh Frankfurter: cellos

Another villanelle, Sylvia Plath’s arresting portrait of betrayal and despondency stopped Marla in her tracks. And we were both so taken with how Plath lyrically painted such a delicate, even fragile, line between the wonderful, transporting ‘madness’ of love, and the despondent ‘madness’ that we, in hindsight, know ultimately consumed her.

If I Could Tell You poetry: W.H. Auden; music: Fibish & Victor
Marla: tenor guitar, vocals
Bruce: high strung guitar, vocals
Nuala Kennedy: bamboo flute

The last of the villanelles on this album. We so enjoyed the whimsy of Auden’s musings, and his portrayal of Time as knowing, but (seemingly, to us) provocatively secretive, withholding of its wisdom -- until it says, “I told you so” once all is revealed...or not.

Sally Dupré poetry: Stephen Vincent Benét; music: Fibish & Victor
Bruce: guitar, vocals
Marla: tenor guitar, vocals
Tom Neylan: vocals
Jeri Jones: slide guitar

This song comes from a section of John Brown’s Body, Stephen Vincent Benét’s epic poem about the human dimensions of the Civil War. Clay Wingate, Southern aristocrat and scion of Wingate Hall, wrestles with his desire for a woman forbidden to him by the mores of his culture. After the war and the ultimate destruction of Wingate Hall, Clay and Sally finally marry. So, time was indeed on his side, albeit entirely unknown to him while he was lost in the ruminations herein...

Since I Was Begotten poetry: Stephen Vincent Benét; music: Fibish & Victor
Marla: mandola, vocals
Bruce: guitar, cittern, vocals

We continue with a different passage from John Brown’s Body -- this time, it is the young Northern soldier, Jack Ellyat, who narrates. From his perspective, the potential conferral of wisdom and/or money is not sufficient compensation for the loss of youth that time demands in sacrifice.

Out of Time music by Marla Fibish
Marla: mandola, accordion
Bruce: guitar
Athena Tergis: 5 string violin

In Marla’s role as a teacher of Irish music on the mandolin, she is often asked how one would play a slow air on the mandolin. Her answer has always been an unequivocal, “You don’t!” This tune emerged out of Marla’s mandola one day seemingly as a spontaneous admonition against rigidly held opinions. She named it for her father, Alan Fibish, who ran out of time right around then.

September poetry: Ted Hughes; music: Fibish & Victor
Marla: Greek bouzouki, vocals
Bruce: 12-string guitar, vocals
Aryeh Frankfurter: violas

Ted Hughes’ enigmatic poem September moves quietly between the personal world of human experience and the grand workings of nature, all driven inexorably forward, unknowingly, by the forces of time, except in those moments of rapture when time stands still. Time is nowhere.

Warning Poetry: Jenny Joseph; Music: Fibish & Victor
Bruce: guitar, vocals
Marla: mandola, vocals
Nuala Kennedy: vocals
Jeri Jones: slide guitar

We were challenged to put this wonderful poem by British poet, Jenny Joseph, to music by our friend, Laura Taichman. Upon reading it, we were so enamored of the idea that the passage of time would confer the power and permission to transcend the stifling limitations of “proper” behavior.

Bastardo Returns
Bastardo likes to have the last word...



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