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Unread 11-19-2018, 07:56 PM
Maryann Corbett's Avatar
Maryann Corbett Maryann Corbett is online now
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Default Nemo Hill and Julius Eastman in the NYT

It isn't often that a Sphere member is one of the subjects of a New York Times article. Have a look at the story of Julius Eastman's second symphony, which is dedicated to Nemo.

I recall a poem of Nemo's about the near-loss and rescue of the manuscript of the symphony. It would be great if someone could supply a title and find a link to the poem.
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Unread 11-19-2018, 10:55 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Maryann,

The poem is 'To His Landlord' from 'When Men Bow Down'. I can't find the text online but here's a great clip of Nemo reading it along with the equally wonderful title poem.

And wow. Very cool Nemo, but also sad.


Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 11-20-2018 at 12:59 AM.
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Unread 11-20-2018, 12:57 AM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Gratias, Maryann. Not every day is an understatement, not even close. My stunned eyes had to read twice over the words New York Times and symphony just to be sure they saw right; what, on account of it being so far from every day.

Here is a link to the text of To His Landlord on the same page as another gem of a poem to boot.

Congratulations, Nemo.


[My apologies, this tone was off. I know not what to say here. It is good that A Long-Lost Symphonic Love Story Is Told Again but of course, I assume, not without sadness of heart.]

Last edited by Erik Olson; 11-23-2018 at 04:02 AM.
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Unread 11-20-2018, 07:53 AM
Michael Juster Michael Juster is offline
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Bittersweet, I'm sure, but congratulations, Nemo.
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Unread 11-22-2018, 02:19 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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I thought this a pretty tough post. After reading the NYT article, and the poem pointed out, I'm guessing this is Nemo-approved. But it is personal. Congratulations isn't my first reaction. Nemo should be congratulated for many things, as a poet and critic. His work usually defies gravity. But it is nonetheless beautiful.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 11:15 AM
R. Nemo Hill's Avatar
R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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By now, my relationship with Julius Eastman has been so well aired that this thread is far from too personal.
Here is the opening paragraph of my essay in the book Gay Guerilla: Julius Eastman And His Music which has now come out in paperback.

"With perfect sincerity and a suitable amount of head-wagging, a musician acquaintance of mine, reflecting on the death of Julius Eastman, lamented: “What a waste of talent.” At the time I found the remark so astonishingly beside the truly tragic point that I could scarcely speak. The very idea of tallying the talent and then separating it from the life and the death seemed nothing short of blasphemous. And yet I was soon to hear that sentiment echoed over and over again in one form or another: a waste of talent, an abuse of talent, a persecution of talent—the permutations were endless, whether the thief was conceived of as an internal or an external one. But where in all this lamentation and accusation was the sense of marvel at a talent and a life so perfectly and maddeningly attuned; so deliberately and defiantly crafted? Where was the respect which that man who so fearlessly controlled his own surrender to his own fate demanded of us with such infuriating consistency? What a burden of talent—that seemed the more fitting lamentation. Indeed, in the relatively short but intense period during which I knew Julius, he seemed more than anything else intent on shedding that burden of talent—and not out of laziness or irresponsibility, and not out of plain orneriness (although it may have seemed that way to many of us at the time)—but in order to test it, subjecting it to a series of alchemical tortures in order to purify its coin from all counterfeit, ultimately dragging what was left of the gold in it all the way from hallowed halls to mean streets, for one final trial."

I have been given ample evidence in these past few years (in which Julius has entered the classical music canon, reappearing now with such unexpected speed and resilience) to reflect on how the man becomes the myth. Soon the myth will be all that is left, along with the music, and I like to think it at least partially my responsibility to provide as much down-to-earth musings on the man as possible, even as I watch him evanesce before my eyes into various beings in the minds of those who never met him or knew him. He has taught me a lot, both by positive and negative example, both during his life and through & after his death.

Here is his Parable, inscribed on the abandoned Symphony No. II referenced in the NY Times article, and premiered Tuesday night at Lincoln Center.

On Tuesday, Main and Chestnut at 19 o’clock, the Faithful Friend and his Beloved Friend decided to meet.

On Monday the day before, Christ came, just as it was foretold. Some went up on the right, and some went down on the left. Trumpets did sound (a little sharp), and electric violins did play (a little flat). A most terrible sound. And in the twinkling of an eye the earth vanished and was no more.

But on Tuesday the day after, on Main and Chestnut at 19 o’clock, there stood the Lover Friend and his Beloved Friend, just as they had planned, embracing one another.

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Unread 11-23-2018, 01:29 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Thank goodness you protected that ms, Nemo. His music is chillingly strange and original and wonderful. What's happened with the NYTimes and Lincoln Center seems nothing short of a miracle. Huge kudos (and hugs).
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Unread 11-25-2018, 04:48 PM
Michael F's Avatar
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Your quotation is a wonderful piece of writing, Nemo. And the story is remarkable.
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Unread 12-05-2018, 01:27 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Wonderful indeed Nemo.
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