Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ern Malley 1918-1943: Celebrating the centenary in his place of birth Liverpool (set list)

Liverpool was the birthplace of Ern Malley, probably the most famous English language fictional poet. I took part in a celebration of his 100th birthday on 14 March, on 13th March, last night, round the corner at the Handyman Pub. Believe it or not, I’ve met a composer and guitarist, David Whyte, who has set all the Malley poems to music. The event was his brainchild.

It was pretty splendid, all round, with two bands, exciting stuff on video, a fair-sized audience. The professorial quotient was pretty high and a lot of the performers were fresh from UCU picket-lines, so that gave the evening an edge. Good to relax back at David's place too, literally round the corner. Thanks David and Vicky and Kirsteen and Patricia and Kait and Paul - and all the others, whose names I didn't catch.

There are some photos of the night here, taken by Phil Maxwell...

We played Ern straight, and Mark Minchinton even claimed to be Ern's grandchild. 

First Half
DJ Frank Scenario
Boult to Marina – read by Robert Sheppard
(V) Egyptian Register - read by Mark Minchinton
Sonnets for the Novachord – read by Robert Sheppard
Perspective Lovesong – read by Robert Sheppard
Culture as Exhibit – read by Patricia Farrell
Night Piece – sung by Ern Malley Orchestra
Sweet William – sung by Ern Malley Orchestra
Baroque Exterior - sung by Ern Malley Orchestra
DJ Frank Scenario
Second Half 
(V) Colloquy with John Keats (and Coda) – read by Lucy Van
(V) Young Prince of Tyre – read by Justin Clemens
(V) Palinode – sung by Derek McCormack and Imbe Neeme (Ern Malley Orchestra Melbourne)
(V) Sybilline - sung by Derek McCormack and Imbe Neeme (Ern Malley Orchestra Melbourne)
Petit Testament – read by Patricia Farrell
Night-piece (Alternate Version) - sung by Ern Malley Orchestra
Documentary Film - sung by Ern Malley Orchestra
Dürer: Innsbruck, 1495 - sung by Ern Malley Orchestra
Ern Malley Suite read by Robert Sheppard (from Twitters for a Lark; see here)

DJ Frank Scenario

In the twenty-fifth year of my age
I find myself to be a dromedary
That has run short of water between
One oasis and the next mirage
And having despaired of ever
Making my obsessions intelligible
I am content at last to be
The sole clerk of my metamorphoses.

The Complete Poems may be read here:
(Who was Ern Malley? See )

A later essay on the Ern Malley affair and its Liverpool celebrations may be read here: