Ethelgar

Track One - 17'46" - Roy Hart performs -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

" Ethelgar "


performed by Roy Hart, December 1970


This piece was proposed for Roy Hart by “Tycho Films” as a pilot study for a longer work. They used multi track recording techniques, which were advanced for the time. This is the first and only recording of Roy Hart singing over his own voice. It is also his first and only piece to be recorded outside using real country sounds: birds, scrunching leaves etc.
The origin of the text remains a mystery. It is based on a text concerning Anthelia, who started his religious studies as a monk in Glastonbury Abbey before moving up the ecclesiastical orders to finally become Bishop of Canterbury in 988. It is a strong text and it is full of pagan images and dark murderous allusions.

ETHELGAR

The words of the text

There were apes of all things in this hole under ground, which once in gone days, gleamed and rang beneath the Sauras Race. Rust der nicked in another age; an unknown man, brows bent, brought and hid here, the beloved horde; a whole race, death raped, and of the ring of Earls. One left alive, living on in that place heavy with friends lost. The Horde God waited, the same wearied his wick acknowledged at the treasures gathered and guarded over the years, where hid for the briefest while. Barrow stood ready on the flat ground. Their breaks beached at the headland. Now, near at hand, made narrow of access the keeper of rings carried into it the Earls holdings. The horde-worthy part fraught with gold. New words spoke.

Hallowed ground, the gold of the Earls. Men could not, cowards, they were not. Took it from me once, but the wariest of them that stumped life struck them, spared not one man of my people. Past on now, they have had their hall joys. I have not a man with me to unsheathe this, who shall polish this. This cup was dear to the company is elsewhere. This hardened helmet heeled with gold shall lose its shell. They speak now whose worthwhile serpent is over all masks so that we’re rat that in the crush to fight the lion, amid breaking steal is moulded with a man. The melter travelled far; hung from his shoulder. Shouldered worriers, it shall not jingle again; there is no joy from Hardly flee with gladness, no good hogs swine through hold now. No swift heart hunts the treasure bold, the threat came falling has felid her flowering kingdom.

Odin, Odin. They made the skin stretched and crucified. Two ways at once. Forearms and forelegs. The head part like a boss of a shield. The skin of an unknown beast. Flayed and left drying. The church door chard by the sacrificed blood. The shield with a mid guard. Serpent there was not one. The redeemer With the middle guard but many of the men unworthy of the honour decorates the door of God. Like a whale on the shore, shingle cleansed and bleeding, the tongue ripped out when they had tired of his yelling, but the whale had a foot of blubber. A man is naked to the knife. Naked and useless but someone had cut off the cod that night for a charm against sickness and birth pain. The remnant fell off the door within a year; they didn’t bother to tan it. The serpent leather worthy to cover a god spell. Like the church turning to windward the alter children disembowelled over the earth floor, one breathing, “Father into thy hands…” Who’s midnight has done, the cursers, the cursers.

Warrier holding back the desecrated door, both knees shattered by the blow of the back of the long axe. Taken alive, wild eyed with a drug. They broke both knee joints with a blow of the long axe, iron sheathed, half doing the work, huing him down, a body tattoo in the pagan manor. With a mid guard serpent inscribed in woad blue woven with purple, even the feet crawling with inter laced trails. The hands then smashed with a blow of the axe back. The fingers flayed open one by one, the tendons cut. Blood flowed from the open joints and the pain endured beyond endurance, made me numb. The mid guard snake writhing in deaths wet showing clearly under the songing bands of pagan life left off skinned alive of new born into the church and sullied by it’s own hand that is the wearied of all sainthood. Columbine all decuples of the blessed saint John enduring inward doubt they would have stopped it, I cannot forget the look of pain in that head. Like a river endured in silence, waiting for death for death to flow through the fire of the night. Both the pagan gods he called on answered him screams both in the bottle.

 

“Masque and Portrait”
performed by Roy Hart
and several members of Roy Hart Theatre in 1971


with a text by Christopher Mann


This piece experiments with extended range vocal work using solo and choral texts. Some parts are directed, others are improvised. The text itself was created for its sonorous qualities, creating a form of language but one that is not comprehensible since many of the words are drawn from a Victorian scientific dictionary. Christopher Mann, an Australian, went on to have an extensive career as a composer, poet and performer specialising in the field of compositional linguistics.

Track Two - 15' 56" -

- Roy Hart Theatre WITH Roy Hart perform -

Masque and Portrait

Masque

SCENE I

Narrator .......The knell of the sepulture awoke to the tuck of drum and
......................tolling tone in the long mourning of the narrow house. The
......................coroner and chief mourner shrouded in the winding sheet of
......................the mute lay still as an epitaph while the cypress and the
......................briar rattled at the sexton; the balmy wind carried in the
......................pyre of the morning stiff as a mortal to pall upon the
......................tenement of clay. Death arose, put on his clothes and. stood
......................on the edge of the dawn. The barrow and garret of light
......................sermoned across the floor, tapped at the door, took the key
......................from around his neck and unlatched the gate to the pate of
......................the day. Threne and willow bibbed wry handmaidens in a
......................wimper, and Death in monition called Cassandra from the
......................cloud no bigger than his hand. and stepped down the dancing
......................stair. The donjon tronk yoked to the moor wore bracelets
......................then of Time and our proctor now invoking walked this rings
Death ..........You of the drunken liturgy, you who are misconceived,
......................purile and dull;
......................You clam'rous lapwings, canker and crack your cataracts,
......................knackers to…
Narrator....... When, riding tangled in mid-morning came jangled news from
......................o'er the hill;
......................Rain Rittled-rattled in the dawning,
......................rain-bowed along the peacock quilted
......................mizzling game, the rain ribald
......................at full tide.
......................Spirtling tortoise backs whirlpooled in a torrent
......................squalling in the sopping dank frowns of rain.
......................Billeting in discontent,
......................whallowing in puddles,
......................the church rain,
......................the perched rain,
......................the raen stood still to stumble and then to pour.
......................Hear the heavens give the first rain
......................Open mouths to receive our words
......................Leave tabernacle as covert,
......................but riddle the whirly cone again.
Narrator....... Off sped the rain and as habited Time had arranged it so,
......................from lying low sleeps they met on the shore of the Deep Lake.
Wind.............I walk so silently that you may not see me;
......................I cry so thinly that you may not hear me;
......................I ride the chariots of the dreams of men and
......................am chased by spirits of Time and Again
......................though Aeolus' chain sails are my very own.
......................Only mad goats and pigs may ever see me
......................while mares I may foal if they turn about rae
......................and I race the sky to the news that is known.
......................In the cradled childbed north am I born and
......................deep in my train lies a castle of stars.
......................Whistle thrice and I may appear,
......................knotted thrice may be carried far.
......................Fates I divine and. I winnow the years
......................so both fire and oak do cower in fear.
......................By victory am I never weakened;
......................defeat I do not know, but
......................when I am not are men fools.
Death ..........You ring a pretty riddle, but lown, even Mistress Nel could
.....................find a truer bell to wear. Yea, the old posie of my ring
.....................was not so dealy-lively: and she never called me mother!
.....................A dead lurk ’t would seem for me, a dead-frost you've made
.....................to sail this noon-tide in a dead bottle. You know the
.....................whoring go barefoot to wait for dead mens' shoon like a
.....................three-legged mare ambling to the deadly never green gallows
.....................the mopstick topped and chopped like a death-watch in the
.....................wainscot dressed to last years’ death. A dead sows' eye for
.....................the shirt worn like a bawd...you are but a deaths-head ape.
Wind ...........A forfeit you will gender, a sexless fart unless....
Nel.............. A dead nip if I do.
Rain ............Well then, take the bone from out your mouth, spin your
.....................Glass and cloak your words or a tribe of mutilations who
.....................could ne'er own to their own souls will pall your parish.
Death ..........I am taker unmade
.................... and divers doings bedane;
.....................I am stainer of shade
.....................and twin two ilka deal,
.....................The isle I nevem to poor and timely
.....................shall crossed once only beiin sleep.
Nel ..............Who leans here?
Belial ..........‘Twas it; not you conjured me hither?
Death .........Let's see.
Belial .........Through envy of Satan came I
....................Was it not theft caused, the moon
....................wane? caused death?
....................Unbidden have I tied instinct to volition
....................ambivalent to fickle renitence or lien.
....................I sue no giddy bumble-dom
....................or cadge a stagging regent,
....................mumping quirked caprice.
....................A sleeveless whin I call to deed
....................allodial scutcheon, to will
.....................My name is this lent Belial.
Nel.............. I fain would take of will.
Belial..........Thou, my fairest, can thus be by thy man pleased.
Nel .............What, that Will-jill?
Belial .........Take the will for the deed.
Nel ............Will bears the skill.
Belial ........While you are willyart willy am I will to rede.
Nel............ If you will not when you will, sir, you will not when you wilne.
Death .......So enough combing of cocks.
Belial ........If thou willst.
Death....... I wilt nought,
Nel ............If you could but aught...
Death ........I would. What need'st I of will?
Belial ........So let lay a wager
..................That whether thou wilt or nylt, can's! not without my swink
Chorus .....Come what more horrid hent than taking of the praggling days
..................When baleful arts tied ribands, assurge those brought
..................The book
..................And thereon look upon the black-rooms of te drowned first-born
..................Lest he dabbling crape and crimp and ring the time of death.
..................He is silent who steals the will of fear from out his breast.
..................Mirror shrouds wear Wind and Rain to lay the will, shade the age.
Narrator ...On the conditions of cited writ, that Death shall be, exempt of
..................Corpus juris, until such day when he shall want for will, at
..................Which, his soul be forfeit with statutory consideration, and
..................He be exiled from the releam of the heavens, and deprived of
..................His place therein, serving one master who is without lord.
..................Signed, this day.
Chorus ....Sith canticle adjudge all possible
..................in this contracted sphere and
..................construe it all tractate;
..................the stentor and lection,
..................the antilogy expository
..................of guisard pandect cribbed from gloss,
..................from yauping clew
..................from treating loss.
..................Leave crotchet rant
..................and doom and weet and mootaand
..................cheep and mote the aye;
..................suggest excursus, symptamotology, postulate sorites,
..................screaka and yarr; mewl pedantry aid sigh.
Narrator ...Weening memoirs from this "booth of "boards
..................you look alike some propter hoc of Jesuitry
..................all belling and. yelp in apodictic ergotism.
Chorus ....Some consectary of note…
Narrator ..Some macaronic scope you'd rather find in nuncio and d-action:
.................the role is lent to tell, not flimsy explication in reddiction,
.................nor glee "bombast for rixation.
.................Rap out legate, scragged lator,
.................smacking tract in scantling rote
.................to like the fleck and jot...
.................Lo, diddle comes the sniggling whit of coquetry,
.................the lown clot-poll to perdy and play,
.................tinsel, cajole the dizzard covin
.................bilking fortunes as you please
Actor .......Your self in elench,--"conceits you're quite proficient,
.................mummer scat rational, doodle and lapse
Chorus ....But what's the strut of numbers, but to ply their part on cue?

Actor .....To guggle and sum the aspect as a shrew
................Faze lustory that cully bluster
................Tumbling in the brabbling driblet
................In picquet cant puled masquerade
................And caste nonny on no to taillery,
................Jilt mimicry….
Narrator .Inveigle relation.
Chorus... But...
Actor ......Let me o’erstep my word to perform it.

Track 3 - 2' 47"

SCENE 2

Roy Hart.. .......And one is the house; in it shall the sun
.........................red maw of the lapwing be horn.
.........................One law shall he to him, fire of the tabernacle,
.........................and not one thing shall he hath failed,
.........................he who he home horn,

Barry Irwin ......Being some null quiddity,
.........................rank crassis of esse state,
.........................fettling schesis to temper,
.........................it behooves this getting bawd 'a trace such habit in fir
.........................skirts of fading mirth.

Chorus ............Corporeal to any aporetic or settle be your nominal set.
..........................Buy, buy!
..........................Oh, come buy my farthingale.

Rossingnol ......Oh, wind away and raise a tune
..........................from a graved jug of melancholy,
..........................jest the witty timpany and jig the fields of rye
..........................mute and tumbled, tricked in step,
..........................and keep the tomb good company.

Chorus............ On four heads burst the river
.........................and on dun earth and green shall the
.........................and four beasts shall be to him
.........................and the sard like silver taste the air,

Death ...............You harum-scarum rantipale fribbling text to moider
..........................in parsing quest of a pixing sourdough
...................
.......who'd slur proviso for retort,
..........................go delude the dizzy cryptic wistful in conceits
..........................you muzzy scrutator, speer fluster
..........................the rack and giddy-heeds,
..........................for I am order and earth
..........................and winnow the bone.
..........................Oh, content!

Coco Samuels Unto five lark-kings brought
...........................five bards for the boards
...........................in breadth and length five letters both
...........................and beryl leaves of the sight of man.

Track 4 - 2'45"

PORTRAIT

Drum a drub hobble brine wheeze and bubble
drone pule and rue
to gurgle alum
hob sol-fa thrum
culm dross en dram.
Loath styptic of nipping bracer
twitter of the tick,
yelp hearth pall and jar;
sapid fiddle all fade.
Maund brabble for wisket at
list scowls bile and soul
to tiff the swilling fibbing stick.
Sith complot clewt ungainly fore
the crumb brad aliquot
puff sudatory latch reast bracky
yaup to snuff and shafflo
tourney to pedant
brigue festooned in canorous lei.
Padlock.
Daub strum gibberish flan shudder
rift plaster skulk a buttoned up
and clew dun coal for barv-adage
rot sal ogy;
palimpsest the morsel and gist.

State detort the garbled rerebrace id est
tintinabulate whined scoury lepe
blinked sapor to didder
croak jostles blat.
Kibble fogey in litigate scald.

 

Please note this new information

Paul Silber
Roy Hart Theatre Archives


Paul Silber took on the work of the Archives 12 years ago. During that time he has gone through the 3600 hours of magnetic tape from which he has created the 12 audio discs which constitutes the archive recording library up to 1975.

..............The last of these discs was produced in mid 2010, that was Aethelgar. It marks the end of the material to be found on the 600 spools of tape that are held in the theatre's archives. Many of these spools were recorded by Alfred Wolfsohn, the founder of the vocal work during the early fifty’s. These early works were edited by one of Alfred’s pupils, Fips Faraday with the aid a razor blade and a roll of adhesive tape. These special tapes had the additional ear of Sheila Braggins (the last of Alfred's pupils) to help identify the contents of the recordings.
.............A number of other members of the theatre have, during the years, “had a go” at being the archivist of the RHT records, amongst them Noah Pikes, Ivan Midderigh and David Goldsworthy. Thanks too to friends of Roy Hart Theatre for their help, notably Robert Faust for his admirable work in the audio cleaning up the recording of "Aethelgar", the first and only multi tracked recording that exists, enabling Roy to sing with himself while hearing other pre-recorded tracks.

..............Today there is an archives room devoted to this extensive collection of items showing our history at our current Centre - Chateau de Malerargues. The archives room is available for the use of serious students of the work of Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart.

 

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