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Illusions of Happiness
for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poetry
Andrea Reinkemeyer, music (Bangkok, Thailand - in progress)
Written for David Dillard, baritone

Instrumentation:

Baritone, Flute (Piccolo), Oboe, Clarinet in B-flat, Tenor Saxophone / Horn in F, Trumpet in C, Trombone, Tuba / 2 Percussion, Piano / Strings

Program Notes:

Illusions of Happiness (in Progress) for Baritone and Chamber Ensemble. More information to come!

Text:

A Coney Island of the Mind
- 1 -

In Goya's greatest scenes we seem to see
                                                                   the people of the world
         exactly at the moment when
                   they first attained the title of
                                                                'suffering humanity'
                    They writhe upon the page
                                                             in a veritable rage
                                                                                           of adversity
                         Heaped up
                                           groaning with babies and bayonets
                                                                                           under cement skies
                               in an abstract landscape of blasted trees
                                      bent statues bats wings and beaks
                                                            slippery gibbets
                                   cadavers and carnivorous cocks
                               and all the final hollering monsters
                                         of the
                                                      'imagination of disaster'
                              they are so bloody real
                                                                   it is as if they really still existed
                  And they do
 
                              Only the landscape is changed

  They still are ranged along the roads
               plagued by legionaires
        false windmills and demented roosters
 
They are the same people
                                       only further from home
       on freeways fifty lanes wide
                              on a concrete continent
                                       spaced with bland billboards
        illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness
 
   The scene shows fewer tumbrils
                              but more strung-out citizens
                                                             in painted cars
           and they have strange license plates
       and engines
                                that devour America
                                                                   - Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Goya's greatest scenes by Lawrence Ferlinghetti from A CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND, Copyright © 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Performances:

More soon: