This week I’m inviting you to listen to another song I’ve chosen for my funeral (which, I trust, is still a long way off but it makes sense to plan well ahead for that particular commemoration service).
If you cast your mind back to November 2016 you may remember the Archipelago post in which Flight, an instrumental from that album-of-the-month, became the first piece of music to be included in the “so long and thanks for all the blogs” ceremony. Now the Crotchety Funeral Director has been instructed to add the uplifting La Vita by Beverly Glenn-Copeland to the programme.
There’s an otherness about La Vita that makes it particularly appropriate for a funeral, I think. The opening drumbeats anchor it firmly to the Earthly world but the damped wooden tones of a marimba invite us to gaze skywards and peep beyond the spiritual veil. Then a few profane guitar notes prepare the path for a celestial messenger whose sacred voice fills the heavens with the sound of sweet nectar. After a while the angel is accompanied by another voice, an ‘other’ voice, vocalisations both of and not of this world.
This new singer defies all concepts of gender. They are both ‘he’ and ‘she’; or they are neither. And this regenerated Tiresias brings a deeply spiritual message for our troubled world, a message that overcomes all our travails with the balm of hope and the remedy of joy.
The body says “Take the time to grieve”
. . .
The mind says “Allow yourself to grow”
. . .
The spirit says ” Fill your heart with love”
. . .
The heart says “Let the dance begin”
And my mother says to me, “Enjoy your life!”
Beverly Glenn-Copeland reminds me of Anohni. Both have crossed between the poles, as Genesis put it in The Cinema Show. But, where Anohni is a woman born as a boy, Glenn-Copeland is a man born as a girl.
Now calling himself Glenn Copeland, the singer and songwriter is best known for the 1986 ambient synthesiser sounds on his Keyboard Fantasies album, which was re-released in 2017. On the Crotchety 5-Star Scale, though, that debut album scores an unexceptional 3. Better, I think, is his 2018 offering, Beverly Glenn-Copeland Album, which breaks away from the narrow confines of electronic keyboards and offers a wider range of musical styles, including folk, jazz and blues. (Complainin’ Blues and Erzili are good examples.)
La Vita is a track from the Primal Prayer album that YouTube bills as for pre-order and Spotify doesn’t have at all but which seems to be available now from songcycles.com as a CD and digital download. If it’s as good as its predecessor it will be well worth investigating. But, please, don’t wait for a funeral – especially mine!