Snow White Turns Sixty

by Gillian Hollis & Dale Trumbore

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credits

released 20 September 2011

All tracks composed by Dale Trumbore. Recorded June 29-July 1, 2011 by Gillian Hollis, soprano & Dale Trumbore, piano, with John Baffa of TV Tray Studio. Artwork by Jackie Littman. Produced by Dale Trumbore for Dissonant Gorgeous Productions, LLC.

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Dale Trumbore Los Angeles, California

A composer of contemporary-classical, dissonant-gorgeous, narrative-driven music, Trumbore's works have been performed by ensembles including the Kronos Quartet, the USC Thornton Symphony, the New York Virtuoso Singers, the Orange County Women’s Chorus, the Harmonium Choral Society, the Boston New Music Initiative, the Neave Quartet, and the Left Bank Chamber Society. ... more

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Track Name: Joy
JOY

I am wild, I will sing to the trees,
I will sing to the stars in the sky,
I love, I am loved, he is mine,
Now at last I can die!

I am sandaled with wind and with flame,
I have heart-fire and singing to give,
I can tread on the grass or the stars,
Now at last I can live!

—Sara Teasdale
Track Name: The Kiss
THE KISS

I hoped that he would love me,
And he has kissed my mouth,
But I am like a stricken bird
That cannot reach the south.

For though I know he loves me,
Tonight my heart is sad;
His kiss was not so wonderful
As all the dreams I had.

—Sara Teasdale
Track Name: November
NOVEMBER

The world is tired, the year is old,
The fading leaves are glad to die,
The wind goes shivering with cold
Where the brown reeds are dry.

Our love is dying like the grass,
And we who kissed grow coldly kind,
Half glad to see our old love pass
Like leaves along the wind.

—Sara Teasdale
Track Name: Prayer
PRAYER

Until I lose my soul and lie
Blind to the beauty of the earth,
Deaf though shouting wind goes by,
Dumb in a storm of mirth;

Until my heart is quenched at length
And I have left the land of men,
Oh, let me love with all my strength
Careless if I am loved again.

—Sara Teasdale
Track Name: Snow White Turns Sixty
SNOW WHITE TURNS SIXTY

and doesn’t care any
more about what the neighbors
think. The prince just
sits there, in his recliner,
flicking channels, popping
brewskis. Belches. He got downsized
last year from The Royal
Kingdom. Too young
for social security; too old
for another career. She just
doesn’t care. They haven’t touched
in years. The kids are grown,
the house runs itself, and who wants
to go to another ball or support
another charity? She’s into:
yoga, organic gardening, book club.
She’s highlighting her hair, lifting
weights, feels better about her body
than she has in years. She sees
the future roll out ahead, a road
through the woods in autumn, yellow
leaves scattered on the ground. There
might be a snug little cottage, just for one.
Maybe a cat curled by the chimney, soft
as smoke. And a kettle on for tea.
Pull up a chair and listen. You won’t
believe her story.

—Barbara Crooker
Track Name: Where's Wolf?
WHERE'S WOLF?

Where are you, my wild, my hazard, my
gilded eye?
With your ears like inside-out peaches, your
tongue a washcloth’s linen.
I’ve brought you merlot in the picnic basket
you loved to pick through,
I’ve brought you cranberries, recalling how
lavishly you licked their juice from
my thumbs.
This was the path where we agreed to
rendezvous, this the pine.
I’m easy to spot, my lips in Ruby Butter gloss,
I’m on time.
I met a man in town who resembles you but
too salon-sleek,
without your mossy smell, your silent feet.
He sent carnations round to mother’s
place.
I won’t settle for mannered inoffensiveness.
I want moon-witnessed trysts, wind battling
my body, the bed of needles, bark.
The rogue happiness we captured once.
O where o where have you hidden since?

—Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Track Name: Afraid to Look Afraid to Look Away
AFRAID TO LOOK AFRAID TO LOOK AWAY

Moonlight breaks on the fir trees
in the deep forest
she waits for you.

The garden of stones casts
shadows
hover on the ground.

The breadcrumbs are
the old trail
of pebbles is white in

the moonlight
has no beginning.

Leave this false trail
and all trails:

walk toward what
you don’t know
the moon will take you there.

The house is
gingerbread and sugar
will fill you up at first.

You will think you
have found childhood.

But she is inside
what you eat
devours you.

Stay with her, let her feed you
as she will
stoke her oven.

Keep your brother safe from
her dim eyes
cannot see you

Wait for her to go to
the fire
will move you.

You must stay and
watch her burn if you forget
and look away

you will forget.

Now the fire burns on
in the garden
you wake the stones.


—Kathleen Jesme
Track Name: Gretel
GRETEL

It was like waking up.
One minute she was doing as she was told,
stoking the fire so Hansel could go into the
pot,
the next hearing a tiny voice inside :
Push her into the fire, it said,
Push the mother.
Push her hard as you can
into her own fire
so it will consume her.
Her hands then,
on the witch,
like they had been on the sweets
she’d won them over with,
only pushing away this time,
unlocking the cage of addiction
that held them both.

—Eileen Moeller
Track Name: Sleeping Beauty
SLEEPING BEAUTY

Like a frog out of the water,
like a big clumsy fly caught in a screen,
I entered womanhood
flailing my long legs.
Jumping Double Dutch,
in sneakered feet
pounding a Morse Code of denial into the
sidewalk,
so it echoed throughout the neighborhood:
not me, it said, not me,
I'll play with dolls forever, I'll be a boy
if I want to, I'll go off and play by the
railroad tracks.
Or spinning crazy like a top
in the grass of the backyard,
almost mowing mother's roses down with
my arms,
then swooning beneath our peach tree
heavy with ripe fruit.
Dizzy it always made me dizzy,
and sleepy too, this newly tilting
pigeon thrumming inside me.
Thought I'd never want a prince
bending over me
his face so much like a brother's
with its teasing wheedling eyes
and mouth that kisses too hard.

—Eileen Moeller
Track Name: Rapunzel after her marriage
RAPUNZEL AFTER HER MARRIAGE

Every morning in front of the mirror
I take the silver scissors
and cut my hair and my daughter's
shorter
the hand-maidens, the ladies
all snigger behind their veils
the queen gifts us with emerald-encrusted
combs
pleads with me to stop this daily snip
my husband, my prince, talks soft in my ears
tells me we are safe
but all those years
I yanked brush through tangles
snarled in pain
all the years my neck bent
with the weight of wet washed hair
all the hours sitting still
waiting within the spreadcircle of hair
a heavy cloak I could not set aside
It was not Dame Gothel's heavy climb
or you dear husband
that burdened my head
but the braided ropes tying
my time in care
now my daughter runs hind-swift
and I, tower free lock free
gladly light headed

—Eve Rifkah
Track Name: Bluebeard's Wife
BLUEBEARD'S WIFE

Stood on the dock
and shrugged her shoulders, shawl close,
as red birds fluttered across her eyelids,
his shaving brushes strewn
across the cobblestones behind her
like little fish spilled from a bucket,
flip-flopping, gasping for air
in the purple twilight.
The lanterns outside
The Customs House made them
look so much like body parts,
fresh cut, headless knobs,
submerged arms, and knees, hair
like kelpy fronds, and thin cattail
bones, all caught in a vat of cherry amber.
No help for it. No help for it.
She stood tall
and still as a heron preening,
eyes on a ship at anchor
down the quay, keening,
his razor a slice of moonlight
in her hand. Soon she would
have it speak his name.

—Eileen Moeller
Track Name: The Mermaid Story
THE MERMAID STORY

We’ve all heard half of the fairy tale:
A mermaid rescued a drowning prince,
swam him to shore, then pined away
because she missed the weight of him
and the heat of his breath against her
neck;

nothing at all like the trickle of cool
saltwater flushed from delicate gills
when she kissed the mermen back in
school.

But since there are witches underwater
as well as over, within a year
she’d bargained away her tail for legs—
and her tongue, too, as legs were dear.

She married the prince. His body hair
tickled like beach grass parched in sun.
An eel grew where his legs forked.
(She couldn’t speak this to anyone.)

—Julie Kane
Track Name: For the Nixie
FOR THE NIXIE

What do you want from me?
Why do I need to comb

Power of this black hair,
Power of this metal voice,

And play the flute, or spin
At the edge of your drowning home?

Power of this black hair,
Power of this metal voice,

I am not the same.
I have turned hard as a toad.

Power of this black hair,
Power of this metal voice,

I’ll raise him back alive
Out of your swimming air.

I will only be a wife again
At the end of a hard, equal road.

Power of this black hair,
Power of this metal voice,

Nixie, I can send
A song down through the water.

(It will reach your home.)
(I have been your daughter.)


—Annie Finch
Track Name: Hazel Tells Laverne
HAZEL TELLS LAVERNE

last night
im cleanin out my

howard johnsons ladies room
when all of a sudden

up pops this frog

musta come from the sewer

swimmin aroun an tryin ta
climb up the sida the bowl
so i goes ta flushm down
but sohelpmegod he starts talkin

bout a golden ball

an how i can be a princess

me a princess

well my mouth drops

all the way to the floor

an he says

kiss me just kiss me
once on the nose

well i screams
ya little green pervert

an i hitsm with my mop
an has ta flush
the toilet down three times

me

a princess


—Katharyn Howd Machan
Track Name: Masquerade
MASQUERADE

Ladies' slippers bloom:
pouchy satin on waxy roots,
but no one now wears dancing shoes.

The ball is over, Cinderella,
the stars are blown out.
The prince wears velvet sneakers,
a media man, his glossy
image tacked on every tree.

Glass cuts deep in your veins
when your life is spent dancing
to the ragged beat of the band.
The matched pearls grow cold
on your windpipe; the cummerbund
reticulates and swallows
to the rhythm of the dance.

It's past midnight now, tired lady.
The pink slippers glow in the dark,
spent weapons of the betrayers.
The black velvet night is all you need
on your bare damask skin.


—Barbara Crooker
Track Name: Kinder- und Hausmarchen
KINDER- UND HAUSMARCHEN

Saint Nikolaus had a giant gunny sack
to put the children in if they were bad.
It was a hole so deep you'd never come back.
A porch swing full of stories, where the smoke
went up in hot, concentric, perfect rings
and filled our heads with unbelievable things.

A nursery heavy with a history
where nothing was whatever it had seemed,
where Aschenputtel's sisters cut their feet
half off — so desperate they were to fit.
And in the end, they also lost their eyes
when steel–grey birds descended from the skies.

Rotkäppchen's wolf was someone that she knew,
who wooed her with a man's words in the woods.
But she escaped. It always struck me most
how Grandmother, whose world was swallowed whole,
leapt fully formed out of the wolf alive.
Her will came down the decades to survive

in mine — my heart still desperately believes
the stories where somebody re–conceives
herself, emerges from the hidden belly,
the warring home dug deep inside the city.
We live today those stories we were told.
Es war einmal im tiefen tiefen Wald.

—Diane Thiel
Track Name: Evening
EVENING

I walk home at sundown. The light strikes
the telephone wires full on,
and the cables blaze as if from inside.

For instant, I’m sure it’s true—
that November has fired up the veins
of everything—

that I, too, am briefly bright
this way, and falsely transparent;
a vessel for some joy I haven’t learned

to make myself, or bear,
or give.

—Robin Myers
Track Name: Union Square Station
UNION SQUARE STATION

After all the fervor—all the search
for words, the reach for flesh,
the warmth of both, or just
a way to cope with what they do—
and after all the space that's left
when sought, whether found
or not, I think, standing in the empty
subway stop, while a lone cellist bows
his low harmonics into the cave,
that this, too, must be desire:
reaching out not to the player,
nor with any fire, but to the train: Be slow
and far away. Let me stay
with this raw sound humming
in my lungs. Make me wait.
Never come.

—Robin Myers
Track Name: This Morning
THIS MORNING

This morning, still, winter
waking, kicking off the quilt.
Till now, unthinking
waiting, cupping in the quiet
I will stretch from—the plant
uncurling toward the glass,
the light gone strong enough
to break it, vines reaching to it
not from wanting, just not knowing
how not to. Dust shifting
in the sun of the air, floor
waiting for the bright
that stains it. What
is it, this thirst in the lungs,
a breath pulled tight
as the shade snapped up to let it
in, this waking, this dense nothing
of warmth across the rug,
this sweet mourning.

—Robin Myers