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  • Writer's pictureAnne

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Dienda is one of Kenny Kirkland's most beautiful compositions - one filled with poignancy and depth. It was originally released in 1986 on Branford Marsalis' album Royal Garden Blues and with Kenny playing piano on that recording, the expression is breathtakingly direct. Then in 2001, after Kenny had already passed away, Sting included it in his live recording and film "...All This Time," singing the lyrics that he had composed for the melody. That bittersweet detail would have been the only remembrance for the listeners that day but the concert, happening at a villa in Italy, took place on September 11, 2001, the same day as the World Trade Center disaster so the entire performance understandably took on a much deeper and more sombre tone, with Sting dedicating it to everyone who lost their lives that day.

Here is the original recording with Branford Marsalis:

Here is Sting's performance:

And here is the lead sheet I created for the tune, as well as Sting's complete lyric. I hope all of these details here help to make the appreciation of this masterpiece that much more fulfilling:

Dienda - Concert - Score
Download PDF • 72KB
Dienda Lyrics
Download PDF • 24KB

  • Writer's pictureAnne

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

Looking forward to performing another live-stream concert - this time we'll be celebrating the summer and sunlight at the piano on Friday, July 23, 2021, 12:30pm PDT. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine, gather up a tasty appetizer for your lunchtime plate and join me for a short concert featuring great standards and rhythm for your soul. To connect to the performance, just click here - simple! See you there...

  • Writer's pictureAnne

Last night, an image came to mind so I made a quick pencil sketch of it:

There is a curtained stage with a podium, on top of which is a single Dynaudio monitor speaker. In the back, the speaker is plugged into something behind the curtain, presumably an electrical outlet. The audience is comprised entirely of ears, specifically the right ear. There is no person operating the speaker and the ears are not attached to heads, they are disembodied entirely. It can't be determined from the setting whether or not the speaker is producing any sound, but the ears are all in place, either already taking in the sound or waiting to do so, after which the question arises, "if there are no heads to perceive the sound, then are the ears actually listening?"

The piece has the title Modern Fascism since modern authoritarian propaganda transmits quickly and easily through social media. Although social media is primarily a visual medium, the method for conveying inauthentic messages to a large group of people involves the use of "bots," who have no face or personality (and therefore imageless). When individuals become ensnared in a web of untruth, we are no longer active participants in a two-way conversation, but instead become passive recipients, only waiting for an emotional "fix" the same way addicts do. Addicts in the full expression of their addiction are themselves disembodied in a metaphorical sense, and in a literal sense when they die from their condition.

So this image is also a description of the nature of addicts, and the addictive nature of propaganda & social media, as well as an observation that the content or message of the propaganda is irrelevant to the listener, or even the speaker. More important is the constructed situation of "something speaking and something listening." The human-ness has been removed.

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