Mnemosyne (2007)

Mnemosyne the Greek name for the goddess of memory, based on the poem “Mnemosyne” by Trumbull Stickney (1874-1904).
CATEGORY Ljova and the Kontraband, lead sheet, world music, jazz, world music
INSTRUMENTATION female vocal, trumpet, strings, accordion, bass, percussion
DURATION 6 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE August 11, 2007 – Joe’s Pub, New York.
WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMERS Inna Barmash, vocal; Ljova, viola; Patrick Farrell, accordion; Mike Savino, bass; Mathias Kunzli, percussion
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES performed frequently with Ljova and the Kontraband as part of their set.
RECORDING Recorded on Ljova and the Kontraband’s debut CD, “Mnemosyne”, with special guest Frank London, on trumpet. Mixed by Anibal Kerpel. [album details] Music video:

SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]

Trumbull Stickney

It’s autumn in the country I remember.

How warm a wind blew here about the ways!
And shadows on the hillside lay to slumber
During the long sun-sweetened summer-days.

It’s cold abroad the country I remember.

The swallows veering skimmed the golden grain
At midday with a wing aslant and limber;
And yellow cattle browsed upon the plain.

It’s empty down the country I remember.

I had a sister lovely in my sight:
Her hair was dark, her eyes were very sombre;
We sang together in the woods at night.

It’s lonely in the country I remember.

The babble of our children fills my ears,
And on our hearth I stare the perished ember
To flames that show all starry thro’ my tears.

It’s dark about the country I remember.

There are the mountains where I lived. The path
Is slushed with cattle-tracks and fallen timber,
The stumps are twisted by the tempests’ wrath.

But that I knew these places are my own,
I’d ask how came such wretchedness to cumber
The earth, and I to people it alone.

It rains across the country I remember.

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