Monday, December 31, 2012

As Zinnias Melt into the Neck of His Guitar



It was about this time last year that I was introduced to the music of Jackie Leven, a singer/songwriter from Scotland who had recently passed from this world. Tony Zimnoch, a fellow blogger, posted a video to honor his passing. It would not be the first time I was late to a party. I discovered Jack Kerouac just weeks after his passing, something I lamented as the weeks rolled into months and then years. How does one grieve for the loss of someone with whom you have never been physically present?  Sometimes, it's their words. And sometimes, it's the sound of their voice, transcending any notion of time and place.

The video Tony posted, "My Philosophy," lead me on a voyage to a new world that continues to haunt me. There's something about the depth of his voice and his vision of life that speaks to my soul. If you haven't yet been introduced, please allow me the honor.

Here is Jackie Leven and "My Philosophy."






And forgive me, I cannot help myself, I must include his musical adaptation of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." These are such good places to start, especially on this eve of a new year. 









"Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

~ Robert Frost




Jackie Leven  (June 18, 1950 - November 14, 2011)



Happy New Year, Everyone. Together, we can create something better.




Tony's site, which is always intriguing: everton.blogspot.com



26 comments:

  1. This is the second post this morning with that Frost poem. It's so lovely and perfect. Now I'm off to enjoy the videos. Happy New Year to you, Teresa. :-)

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  2. Thank you for this wonderful introduction to Jackie Leven. ...and wishing you the best of New Years!

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    1. You're most welcome. My pleasure. Happy New Year!

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  3. This was a rich posting, Teresa. I found both tracks to be quite moving. Happy New Year!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed them, George. Happy New Year.

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  4. My Very Best Wishes To You Teresa For 2013.X Yes,Jackie Leven ,such vastly underrated Person.He was a Big Bear of a Man,Yet Grew Himself A Fine Gentle Spirit.He Touched Everybody That Heard Him Sing ...incidently ,anybody wanting more links to his Life can find some more info here
    May The New Year Be Kind To Us All.

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    1. Tony, tony, tony, thanks for the link to those great posts you did for Jackie. Can't thank you enough for this introduction.

      Yes, kind to us all.... Happy New Year, Tony!

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  5. Happy NewYear Teresa.. and thank you for the lovely gift of introduction to Jackie leven.

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    1. Joan, It's so nice to hear from you. I trust all is well in your beautiful corner of the world. Happy New Year!

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  6. We lost so many talented people this past year.

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    1. It does seem to be the case. Happy New year, Janice!

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  7. Never heard of Jackie Leven, I really enjoyed the Robert Frost interpretation, felt like James Taylor channeling Antony! So glad to have "met" you this year, incidentally via Tony's other Hebden Bridge blog.
    All the best for the next year starting tomorrow.

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    1. Hi JIll, That's a good ear you have. :) Glad you enjoyed him. I'm glad we met, also. I didn't know Tony helped in that, so yet another thing to be very grateful to him for. Yes, turning the corner and here we go... :)

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  8. A wonderful post gift to receive on this first day of the new year, Teresa. I hadn't heard "My Philosophy", appreciated it, and will look for more of Jackie Levin. It is bittersweet, isn't it, when we meet an artist after his or her passing, wanting and wishing for more? How wonderful that there are such renditions as these.

    Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - well, now, this of Frost's is among my favorite poems, since I was a young girl. Jackie Levin's music brings it alive anew for me.

    Happy New Year, Teresa.

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    1. Penny. I would suggest his video, "The Clay Jug," also. You might recognize the poem by Kabir from one of my earlier posts.

      He did a wonderful rendition of that beloved Frost poem, didn't he? It brought the poem alive. Happy New Year.

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  9. Teresa -- Good post -- Have always loved that Robert Frost poem. -- barbara

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. May the New year be an especially fine one for you.

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  10. I could't help but notice Jackie was the same age as me and I thought I must make the most of every day to make a difference as one never knows if it will be the last. I love that Frost poem, happy new year to you.

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    1. Linda, When people in our "age group" pass on, it is a bit of a wake-up call, if you will. Every day matters. Happy New Year.

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  11. I tried to listen to him, but the pitch and that intense vibration or reverb in his voice set off my tinnitus something fierce. Sorry. I have always loved that poem, BTW. It's not that I didn't like him, it's my hearing--LOL!
    Happy New Year. :)

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    1. That's a shame. It's his voice I find so appealing. Interesting how certain tones can cause a different response for people....Tinnitus sounds very unfun. Happy new Year, Rita!

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  12. That is my all-time favorite poem. Simple yet complex. It reminds me of riding in an open sleigh when I was a kid. Yup. Our neighbor actually had a horse and sleigh. Back in the early 60's, two brothers from Cuba ended up staying in a foster home for about two weeks. It was in December and the snow was deep. Of course we took them for a sleigh ride. Their eyes were the size of dinner plates. What joy it was to see two kids laughing and shouting. They thought they were in heaven. And ya know what? They were.
    Happy New Year, my friend.

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    1. It's about time. I've been wondering... :) It's a poem filled with rich metaphors for life and death... Thanks for sharing that sleigh ride story. It sounds like a really lovely memory. Heaven, indeed. Happy New year, "Steven." Good to see you again...:)

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