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Only in silence

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At the beginning of A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote an epigraph:

Only in silence the word,

only in dark the light,

only in dying life:

bright the hawk's flight

on the empty sky.

The Creation of Éa

A few years back, Ben Newman set that to music, and the result is one of my very favorite rounds. Mary Anne mentioned it on the phone just now and it occurred to me that I never linked to Ben's songs page, nor to the song he calls "The Creation of Ea" in ABC format, MIDI format, and MP3 format (with Ben singing all three parts). I recommend the MIDI version for learning purposes, but the MP3 may give you a sense of how it sounds when sung. Note that the second part comes in after the second "only in"; in other words, the second part sings their first note at the same time that the first part sings the word "dark."

If you want sheet music, download the appropriate ABC software for your platform—on the Mac, I prefer Barfly—and open the ABC version of the song. (In case you don't know, ABC is a text-only music notation system; Barfly and other ABC programs can convert ABC to standard notation and play the music.)

2 Comments

DL the mp3, interesting. I think the epigraph itself is quite beautiful.


I removed the URL from your comment, because it goes to what appears to be a spam site containing nothing but (a) copies of the Wikipedia entries about Le Guin's books, and (b) ads.

Also, unless things have changed, Gmail doesn't allow usernames as short as the one you gave, which means I think your address is fake. Reminder to all, even spammers: email addresses are not required for comments on my blog; if you don't want to give an address, just leave that field blank instead of putting in a fake one.


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