Letters From Attica [an excerpt] by Sam Melville (1934 – 1971) & the Frederic Rzewski Composition ‘Coming Together’
by Steven McCabe
I think the combination of age and the greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing time.
it’s six months now and i can tell you truthfully few periods in my life have passed so quickly.
i am in excellent physical and emotional health.
there are doubtless subtle surprises ahead but i feel secure and ready.
As lovers will contrast their emotions in times of crisis, so am i dealing with my environment.
in the indifferent brutality, incessant noise, the experimental chemistry of food, the ravings of lost hysterical men, i can act with clarity and meaning.
i am deliberate–sometimes even calculating–seldom employing histrionics except as a test of the reactions of others.
i read much, exercise, talk to guards and inmates, feeling for the inevitable direction of my life.
Sam Melville (Letters From Attica)
Above is how the spelling appears on more than one site.
I narrated this text four years ago or so with professional musicians performing Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together & Attica.
Sounding this text to the music was one of the most emotional things I’ve experienced: hypnotic, exhausting and exhilarating.
Frederic Rzewski selected this body of text for his composition.
A performance featuring narration by stage actor Steve Ben Israel with Frederic Rzewski on piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSuuwJFw4wU The video opens in a new window so you can follow the text here if you wish.
Credits and information about this recording: http://incessantnoise.blogspot.ca/2009/08/frederic-rzewski-coming-together.html