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Produced in Chicago by Vox3 Collective

 

Streamed in collaboration with Valhala Media

November 2020

Featuring: Emily Cox, Jennifer Barret, Mary Lutz Govertsen, Jimmy Morehead

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Litany: New Vocal Music by Elizabeth Rudolph 
with poetry by the composer, Julie Ann Ball, & Yvonne Strumecki

Litany contains sexually explicity lyrics. 

 
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Litany

Time Stops (0:12) (Julie Ann Ball) 
Mary & Jimmy


Litany (Explicit Lyrics) (Yvonne Strumecki)

 

Litany for the Sexually Lost (4:55)

 

Things You Never Say (8:31)

 

Street Sex (15:03)

Emily & Jimmy

The Singer Laments Their Breath (17:30) (Yvonne Strumecki)

Mary & Jimmy

Just a Phase (23:45) (Elizabeth Rudolph)
arr. Jimmy Morehead
Jennifer and Jimmy

 

FEaturing

 
Yoga Practice

TEXTS

Time Stops


By Julie Ann Ball, 12 March 1997
I remember how we used to measure time the hand that passed the 12 o'clock hour midnight and noon and halfway in between each we rose to meet the day and we fell to meet the night we did our working thing and our grocery shopping banking, oil changes for the car, and the daily crossword puzzle buried in the daily news that was a mirror for yesterday's headlines we did all that until a cool breeze on a hot August day stopped time to measure moments in breaths of memories, in songs in Spring. and night and day and summer and winter became the same and death and birth and birth and death mixed up all together so we could never measure time and we saw it never ends a cool breeze on a hot August day in the middle of March.




Things You Never Say


By Yvonne Strumecki You must be really tired because you’ve been running through my mind all day UR so hott Your body is bangin’ Those tits are huge What size cup are you? Can I get your number or Can I call you sometime? I'd really like to see you again I'd really like to see you I'd really like to... fuck you because age ain’t nothin’ but a number Baby, You know you want it-- even when in reality, yes he really is a thirty-one-year-old virgin Is a normal man so hard to find? So why can’t you find him? Stop trying Stop trying to find men Stop trying to find men online Why can’t you just look around you? You’re so wonderful You’re so beautiful You’re so damn intelligent Flattery will get you nowhere Flattery will get you everywhere Flattery will get you when you are in that much pain Will you massage my back? Is the laundry done? Is my dinner ready? I’m leaving I’m waiting I am going to wait. Stop. Don’t stop Maybe only this once This will be the last time I promise I care I love you I swear I can not




Litany for the Sexually Lost


By Yvonne Strumecki Sex is a silent humming, a master machine in the back of men’s minds, always ​running ready for the revelation that she just might actually want Sex, the pulsing warmth within a woman’s waiting body that can never quite be ​touched enough times in the places only she knows for sure Sex, is everything leading to the hovering seconds before two lips can delight ​in the release from the ache of waiting for Sex is nothing but two bodies being smothered, limbs together entangled but one ​never quite knowing what the other will do next for Sex, the pushing, pulsing, grinding to a halt, is it over, are you finished, was that it, just once more, give me five minutes and I’ll try again for Sex, being something that I once remembered doing
needing
wanting
having
done




Street Sex


By Yvonne Strumecki I used to like that silent come- fuck-me gaze men give, walking down heated summer streets unaware. He starts at my legs in the dark- washed jeans, perfectly boot cut, rising up over my thighs and stomach to rest at my breasts, my lips and linger there, for a moment I see dark eyes meeting mine. A tear of flesh he wants to fuck - his indecent thought caught in this single stare. A stranger no more for that brief moment. I know his thoughts are spent. My breath leaves parted lips, dry with wanting. The need for more than just a look conveyed, and again I am left alone walking down pavement untouched.




The Singer Laments Their Breath


By Yvonne Strumecki I stand behind the curtain
alone, waiting for the rise,
holding onto the only thing
I hold dear. Wanting to exhale,
but unable to let go. Afraid of
a sound so close,
as if my breath were
the only thing escaping. My lungs unwilling to expand
enough. Air leaving my lips
too quickly. The phrase is lost. I, the desperate fool who dreamed
of the stage; a singer needing
more than the silent crowd
waiting bated for the next
act to begin. Bravo being
so far ahead that I cannot
fathom holding onto this forever.




Just a Phase


By Elizabeth Rudolph
canvas and wood, fresh air and teen sweat finding my way in the dark knowing they stacked the odds against us but her lips were soft plastic paneling, backdrop for appraisal in a space intended for my search you were meant to be my guide and mentor but full of judgement A sky full of stars, a lake full of memories, here I am me. strong as an oak, supple as a reed, I see me. limestone and beer, crisp winter and twin beds learning all about myself and you I learn to stand tall and be sincere but still feel like a souvenir A sky full of stars, a lake full of memories, here I am me. strong as an oak, supple as a reed, I see me. They said it was just a phase, but I'm older and older and still the same. You said it was just a phase, but twenty three years later I’m still the same. Still the same. too hot half the year, too grey in the winter finally appreciated with you city full of friends, space for our diversity accidentally found my home A sky full of stars, a lake full of memories, here I am me. strong as an oak, supple as a reed, I see me.





 

Program Notes

Time Stops

This poem was written by my aunt in the week after my grandmother died. It deals specifically with the feeling of hollowness when someone you care about leaves this life. Suddenly the mundane things you used to do with that person take on this preciousness and meaning that one may or may not have noticed before. In this time of pandemic, with so many people dying, I wanted to write a song dedicated to those of us who have lost loved ones. It's especially difficult in this time because we're so isolated, which means a lot of people are dying (not necessarily of COVID) without the opportunity to say goodbye. I did try to keep the musical language of this piece as accessible as possible in order to allow it to speak to a wider range of people. 

Litany Set: (Language Warning?)

This set of pieces deals with some taboo topics: female sexuality, female pleasure, societal norms and what happens when we break them, gender roles, relationship problems, etc. Litany For the Sexually Lost has a repetitive piano part that reflects the heart and breath of the lovers as they entangle while the vocal line rides over that with commentary. Things You Never Say is a very complicated poem and a very complicated piece. The 5/4 meter and the syncopation is intended to create a sonic world of discomfort and breathlessness. The lyrics are harsh and difficult to hear and to sing. The vocal line is awkward and disconcerting. Street Sex seems like a simple poem of a public interaction of strangers, but there's more to it than that. It is a woman owning her body. It is an interaction of equals, consenting adults. The running bass line is the pulse of the city around them, continuous and unrelenting...

The Singer Laments Their Breath

This piece for voice and drone is presented here with only one voice, but is also possible with a group of voices all singing in their own time. This poem took on fresh, raw meaning when the COVID-19 virus arrived. The performance industry has been hit extremely hard by this pandemic and the...random assortment of responses by governments around the world to control it. All of us musicians are waiting in the wings for the moment when we can finally take that stage again. Until that day, the chord won't change. We're stuck in our living rooms and empty halls, making art with little collaboration and no feedback from our audience. It's a piece of mourning and also of hope that our industry will survive this.

Just a Phase

This song was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall by Jimmy Morehead and the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. It is autobiographical and I hope it conveys some of the things I've felt and experienced when it comes to my sexuality over the decades since I came out. It is in standard pop/rock song form, with verses and a chorus and a bridge.