bog life

new and unusual American chamber music
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Bog Life CD

Bog Life recorded most of this CD with the amazing engineer Michael DeMark---perhaps at the WNYC radio studio where he worked, after hours, perhaps not.
It opens with Leonardo for which I got permission from the Sigmund Freud Foundation in England through my wonderful lawyer Jim Kendrick.
Leonardo is followed by Eleanor Hovda's solo-oboe study Jo Ha Kyu which is followed by the six American psalm-tunes by Billings and contemporaries.
Then we return to solo Libby oboe with Ruth Crawford's Diaphonic Suite, perhaps the most dissonant and angular of the repertoire.
Ruth is followed by me---more raucous than angular---with Dinner Party, a 20-minute song cycle of Amy Lowell's poems, the longest work on the CD.
We close with our Ellington set: Mr. J. B. Blues for bass and vibes, Junior Hop with me singing homage to Cootie Williams and John to Trumie Young and Libby playing oboe for Hodges' alto. Then I sing Solitude with a mysterious Patsy Kline twang (I don't know where I got it) and that's it.

See repertoire for more details about composers, authors and music; members for more about the musicians in Bog Life and history for how the group began.

We finished the CD in my 9th month of pregnancy in 1992, in full hormonal nesting drive. I heard about a young man who had been inspired to start a classical label called Zuma and approached him to put out the CD. He agreed and seemed into it. I spent much of the summer of 1994 mastering with Scott Johnson. Sarah Barchus Ferrari took photos of the band in a summer downpour in my basement neighbors' jungle-garden (no longer there). I fell upon a magic snapshot Howard had taken on the beach in Cape Cod the previous winter (see above---someone was actually living behind the window in the marshy sea-hay). We formalized the artwork only to find that our young CD label, after approving all the cited expenditures, had secretly gone out of business. I paid up the debts I could and left the Bog Life CD like a bride waiting at the altar (sigh).

In the coming year (or years), whenever I find the time, I will try to post some mp3 samples of this marvelously strange group and its music. If you are interested in a CD in the meantime, I can probably burn one for you at the right price. Contact me: