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The Spoken Word: from the Galleria Stage 6/11-12/2012

June 12, 2012

There are many voices heard from the Galleria Stage.  The spoken word has so much more power than the same word appearing only in print.

Speaking only for my self, the sound of my own voice coming forward as an expression of whatever it is that blooms forth from my lungs-diaphragm-vocal chords, gives new expression to the a-b-c-d-e-f. . . of the text of my book.  My book “Sailor on Ice” tells a story, but my spirit tells of the spirit of Tom Crean best when it has been released from the static of paper and ink.

I wouldn’t necessarily know this, had I not heard read aloud some stories from the latest Fault Zone, from the stage this very night.  These were stories and poems that I already know, taking flight through voices I already know well and in so doing sounding completely different.  Print is only a tool, as I come to realize, a translation of idea at best only partially realized.  We are a story-telling species, it is an extension of our innate sociability.

On another–tonal–note, the  Long Splices were at their finest last night.  The audience in the seats was small–we expected that–but ready to join in with the choruses of our sea-s0ngs.  We–our voices, mine and Mark DeHaas’s–filled the hall.  Expo Hall at the San Mateo Event Center is huge:  104,000 square feet.  And we knew we filled it when, after the set, we spoke to a vendor at the very farthest opposite corner, and YES he heard our voices.  So did everyone in the hall that evening.  So our audience was much larger than the filled seats before us, a couple hundred at least.  As you may imagine, the Long Splices were justifiably pleased with their performance.  High points:  “Wade in the Water,” “Mariner’s Hymn,” “Fathom the Bowl.”  But all 11 songs were high points for the singers and old friends.

Tonight my play “Chance Encounter” got a reading and more than a few laughs, in a program that included Ollie Welch’s “Shaw” and Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s “Answer Me Now.”

For more on all the above:

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