149. The Edible House (T.S. Eliot)


Hello there.

This song is short.  It consists of:

1. A few seconds from a record called Great Ghost Stories from Troll Records.  This particular bit comes from “The Mysterious Shipwreck” narrated by Ralph Bell.  I found it at a thrift store, and I used it at a live show as well.  It’s become very useful.

2. An exercise of a collaboration between me and the poetry of T.S. Eliot (I am using The Centenary Edition).  I would write a line then look up the next within my T.S. Eliot book that I felt fit, write another line myself (or if I was really stuck took a word from another line of his) back and forth, then, for the last of the four lines, I would find a line of Eliot’s that rhymed with the last word of the second line and had to use it completely.  I also had to use the first line I read, I couldn’t look for another one forcing me to fit it into the melody.  (creating an A/B/C/B rhyme scheme – is that right?).

I tried several different samples from this record, though I haven’t been through the whole thing.  This was the one that stood out the most to me at the moment.  I gave myself a time limit: I had to finish (from recording sample to the last apple-S) by the time the battery on my dumb computer dies (which isn’t very long… maybe 45 minutes).  I decided to use an effect on the vocals and purposely widened the vibrato to make it feel more unstable and wiry…

In an attempt to avoid a fade-out ending I just cut it where I thought it might best serve it… it’s a little ineffective, but good enough for the time limit set.

The Edible House

What’s an edible house?
If you can’t get it back?
Let us go, you and I
When the wind blows water white and black
We have lingered so long
But you knew you are not
Unsend letters of thanks
Gathering fuel in vacant lots
With the twist of the knife
It will find its way home
Reminiscence comes
He shall be washed as white as snow.

One thought on “149. The Edible House (T.S. Eliot)

  1. Interesting method producing mysterious piece that somehow keeps the ship afloat.

    As Joanna Newsom says: ‘This is not my tune, but it’s mine to use’.


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