Hemorrhaging Hemiolas

Claudine Jones-Scene4 Magazine

Claudine Jones

The new improved me is no longer on blood thinners praise the Lord. So that means hemorrhaging is not hanging over me so much. But what's a hemiola and why do I care about it? I can sing one without regurgitating its precise definition, although that's really frowned upon. (Do the math!) In circles that I circulate in, people will have heard arcane terms like hemi semi demi quaver and allargando. Doesn't necessarily mean that they will perform as such.

More to the point I have energy to engage and be part of an eternally doomed attempt to bring a hundred and twenty volunteer singers together as one. An impossible task but we have eternal hope. I'm clinging to this desire to improve, in ensemble as well as solo performance. The status quo is not a level I want to just sit at, although I can't speak for others.

In an existential way I'm not sure where I'm going with this other than to acknowledge that as a member of the human race, I'm facing similar circumstances other people are facing: I'm working my way through what it means to endure physical catastrophe. Or what it means to be fine one day and charging up the hill to reach a goal only to hear voices from down below help help help and having to actually give up the trek,  go back down to perform whatever hysterical task demanded and then turn around and realize I don't have it in me to start again. I'm going to have to get some good sleep and look to tomorrow.

Yeah, I know I'm talking about my mother again. What a tangle! Part of me says you know you made your bed you get to lie in it and another part of me says holy moly what would happen if I had the same complaints when I'm in my nineties and my sons decided that I was on my own. MedicalMusic-crOf course I think that I am at heart a person who knows how to listen, but I'm also a person who has never really experienced clinical depression. I have no idea what that's like. All I can imagine would come to me along the lines of okay I'm playing a person with massive depression and the script is going to tell me how, is going to guide me hopefully, and then I will concoct a character out of it, the portrayal of depression, but no. I don't really know what it's like.

The closest I've come is what I describe as my period of mourning after my husband's death. There were mornings when I got up out of bed and it appeared to me as though in order to function I was going to have to walk across a room of upright razor blades. I just wanted to go back to sleep. But I had three kids to deal with so blah blah blah all that was going to happen. And I survived it. It has been coming up on 40 years. That's The Story of My Life blah blah. I'm a pretty good writer so I maybe I should write a play, except it's already been done in one form or another, book play poem performance piece one-person show. 

I could do it if I wanted to. I think I've reached Equanimity. I do what I do, what I love to do and I get sidetracked by family stuff. Don't get me started on my long ago participation in an absolutely bang-up community production of Cabaret. I showed my persistence big time, even when everything was telling me to give up. My poor bastard of a late husband can go sit in a corner and suck his own dick for all the support he gave me. That's pretty harsh I'll give you that, but seriously: if he was still here that's what I'd tell him.

I just looked up goddam hemiola: In music, hemiola is the ratio 3:2. The equivalent Latin term is sesquialtera, which also means denote a compound flue stop of two unbroken diapason ranks, speaking the 12th and 17th of whatever harmonic series the stop is intended to support.

I love that.

I'm at the top of the hill.

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Claudine Jones has had a long, full career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer.
She writes a monthly column and is a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2019 Claudine Jones
©2019 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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