Todd Harris Subito Grant 2008
Todd Harris Composer/Author/Physicist

Welcome to Todd Allan Harris' Poetry and Musical Website
- Made Possible By an ACF Subito Grant

I invite you to join me in my exploration of a new world of sound: music and words, sonemes and phonemes. Thru this Subito-grant-funded website we aim to explore the musical mind of the 21st century by introducing a new approach to musical and literary language which reflects the multi-dimensional perception of the 21st century mind. Our minds today process information on multiple levels as reflected in our multi-media culture. We aim to integrate music and words in such a way as to convey through inclusion at the fundamental structural level formalisms which will act as a neural guide through the wilderness of note and word mixes which may, in themselves, be undefined by traditional or conventional means, but paired together using our methodologies can convey sensory multi-modal imagery in a new way. Through these methods we aim to introduce a redefinition of sonic memes through our musical poems and thus to provide a truly modern incarnation of modulation both in musical theme and word exposition.

Sonetic Modulation-Music Phonetic Modulation-Poetry Sonephonic Pairs About Me

Emancipation of the Modulation - Musical Sonemes

In our time, modulation is controlled by new and more complete rules, its underlying principles reborn within the world of modern consonances and dissonances. The New World of todays sound is in many ways parallel to the unfamiliar and unexplained sounds played to the audience which predated Bachs time, before counterpoint was truly formalized. There are now as then few guides to the wilderness of note mixes which are undefined by traditional or conventional means.

In his time, Bach brought order and rules to work in his sonic world. Centuries later, faced with a new sound crisis, Schoenberg spoke of his rules as providing emancipation for dissonance. My theories endeavor to Emancipate the Modulation, providing control of the consonant/dissonant means and fostering the new freedoms given us in our time of post-post chromatic and serial practice. Using recent advances in Brain theory, I have developed controls for weighting those sonemes which foster melodic and harmonic rhythmic motion, as well as providing guidelines around which inter-tonal combinational relationships can be utilized to affect the dissonant and consonant substance of sonority. Contextual change can be affected without resorting to the injection of the chaotic or the discordant.

I strive to guide composers in their governing and controlling of music materials so that they may personalize sonorousness without losing personal identity; additionally, this guide to the shaping of Modulations lays boundaries around which to decide what to include and what to exclude at any point to preserve the desired direction of motion, strength of impulse, and the context in its multiple facets.

Modulation and The Lingual Phoneme

Along with this new freedom of musical modulation we introduce a kind of poetic linguistic counterpoint, which I term 'phonemic abstraction.' I do not believe that words of motion, action or relative position are necessary for forward rhythm to be affected. Each individual word in itself is important on more than one level. There is the dimension of rhyme or rhythm, as well as a dimension of object as well as subject which together comprise the context. Words create images in my work but each word may contribute more than one dimension of meaning it can at once affect as well as make its own sub-statements setting the contexts of the images I want to communicate their placement as well as content summing with other words to provide evocations of a time or a place (multiple contexts) which I try to relate as I picture them in my mind's eye.

There is a sparing use of language; I pare down phrases to those word-sets or phonemes which provide the most essentials of my thoughts most efficiently, first isolating those barest of words, and them combining them to produce my desired sonic flow while getting my imagery and imbedded contextual messages across. The words on each line of some of my poems are of themselves statements, or partial statements, without the use of connectives. As well, some lines are meant to group words which list or define the state-of-the-scene-at-that-moment-in-time. Some are more abstract than others. This is a kind or linguistic counterpoint: 'phonemic abstraction'.

The abstraction of sentences in some of my poetry is analogous to my music which spares the use of pivot tones - those notes and chords which serve as the motivic devices of music in standard practice providing for freely flowing root modulations. The modulation is clear and unforced; Just as points can be substituted for lines in visual art, single tones can be used to connect passages with different chordal structures, keeping the root freely mobile without losing formal context or sacrificing its function. I call this transitive poetry.

Sonetic/Phonetic Pairs - Sonephonics

On this site are 17 examples of musical poems, where the music and its poetic partner are written together, each ones modulation reinforcing the others mental identity; the modulation of sonemes in the music complements the lingual modulation of phonemes in the poem. The first Soneme/Phoneme pair example is about the idea of flying and motion in nature, and both parts of the pair were provided as part of the proposal leading to the creation of this site. As is the case with the remaining 16 such pairs on this site, the musical part can be heard by clicking on the title, with its phonemic poetic partner presented beneath its title.

Flights FallStorm Planting Time Wakened Writers
Westerly Winds One Last Lullaby Dance Rainy Days Dawn
Re-memory Old Town Cemetary Growing Goodbyes Harvest's Twilight
Life's Libretto Bad Dreams NOW Unencumbered Freely Wander
Finale - California Quilted

Flights
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

becalmed yellow butterflies light
unaffixed fall's leaves take wing
lost bees beckon silent hives
short sunsets stiffen icy strings

spiders mending meddled webs
sprinkle-wrapped oak balls' whitened seeds
green shoots slice umber bridges' beams
winter's warm wile-wakened weeds

limbs cradle chrysalis-ed crimson flights
suspending emergent-sealed threads
wrinkled tumbling summer's weaves
covering mushrooms swiftly spread

autumn colors long benign
wild oats wear mustard sheaves
flaming spice cured brittled brush
pheasant's nestled potpourri

birds phrase orange poppies' rhymes
peddling desiccated blooms
red ladybugs bear blueish lupin's promise
awakening creeping clover's room

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Westerly Winds House Home
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Houses watch over reseeded lawns
stoutly trussed related roots descend
such awful fuss life's omnibus
quantum chaos mortals mend

apart just seperates long long letters
youthful bellows older breaths become
growing yields empty takes
recording heartbeat's beating thrum

green milkweed caterpillars celebrant
walnuts split sit ne'er reclosed
beneath flowers butterflies' breeze carress
quail's delible eggs reposed

sandcrabs never replay back strides
earthly estates swiftly strewn along
waving waters erase remembered places
shifting keys strand night-tide's evensong

what weather blinds
when fogged dust binds
which measures lengthy trails
whence gone great flights
where shadows blight
weathered barn doors pose brave tales
whimsied rhymes wear worried warning songs
western gusts stress spiders' veils
while warming rains swell milkweed veins
wetting winds bear breathless scales

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Re-memory
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Birthdays re-rosin varied voices
recalling rawest reveled times
dances during doubtful droughtful days
celebrating recollected rhymes

brain-borne breezes lilt newborn leaves
fertile words wear waking coats
reckoned rare remembered seeds
rebirthed heavyheartened oats

soft grounded poetry's ephemera sown
wordy worlds bloomed bully best
raising pithy poets' masts
dreams dousing dreary gravid jests

while wishing words would always well up fresh
(even bygone bitty runs)
rogue thoughts perhaps ply rhymes re-meshed
just rekindling writings wandered sons

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Life's Libretto
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

life lifts her scoring pens piano
bearing oft too breathful bursts
writing buoyant proper plainchant
avoiding ear's extended verse

mouthing mighty morning moans
mild melodies wind midwatched dreams
reveling amoungst mustered miday rants
rowdy risings polish screams

tricky turns tell time's transitions
distant keys call tempest's pride
unexpected modulations shift
changing marches' molded stride

Time whittles wild surprise cadenzas
telling tragic tearful tales
what wastes well mortals wail on
scornful cries crowd vanquished scales

so loudly sing life's lovely song
ne'er too light her lilting tune
turn volume down tears' phonograph
still unquiet sinks her moon

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FallStorm
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

thundering rain
rants lightning's refrain
clear droplets
pronounce puddles' timpini

red sycamore tears
rent adrift southwards steer
limbs conducting
Fall's first formal Symphony

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One Last Lullaby Dance
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Welcome come welcome come visit me my world my world parting
Waking walking wanting wondering wandering parting come visit me my world parting
Past times were past once future once not there once rocking my cradle rocking canes come calling
My world come visit me my time my time come come with me my time my time visit my world my time
Rock along with me my world back forth to fro my world my time flows my breath my rhyme
So solitary so alone come share with me my time my world no chairs no canes no crutches no pains
My mountains my orchards my trees my fields my time my country never flooding rains
My time comes will go will go come with me my friend we'll swim til we know where sunrays end

With me with me my world goes with me with me walking writing dancing free
When we go lets go together together we'll go go away we'll flee
Away away we'll sway sway along with my world we'll go we'll climb our tree
But stay stay don't go away away palm trees orange citrus scents
Growing grown grown together my time my world parted thence
Come visit me my world parting My world parting parting
Come visit me my world Welcomes go welcomes talking walking towards sandy swirls
Your world your time your time will go will go will cradle
So alone so solitary dancing alone my time my rocking cradled world

My lawns my grass my pets my dandelions my poppied gardens sway
My palm trees my hair grows grey come visit me my world grows goes astray
My empty hills my mustard mountains spill rivers come canals concrete empty out away
Emptying pools ponds mallards quails fly high drift west drift west
My world my time goes my breath my rhyme where we will stand beside beside
Where will we sit what will command when you wait you wait too long
Only together rosined bows upon strings across bridges glide our feet they'll glide

Boats near rivers side near fields near fields oranges grow breezes slow
Leaves sway sway but stay stay they'll soon go away with me my world back
My time comes will go will go come with me my friend
With me with me my world goes with me with me
When we go lets go together together we'll go go away
Away away we'll sway sway along with my world we'll go we'll go
Come visit me my world Welcomes go with welcome wind pains flow
Your world your time your time will go will go will cradle
So alone so solitary dancing alone my time my rocking cradled world
Your time will wish my time away your cradle holds my night my daylight tight
My time past your time coming will go will go no more medications flow
My world my time goes my breath my rhyme where we will stage we'll show
Where will we sit what will command When you wait you wait too long til trailed night

Only together rosined bows upon strings across bridges sing they sign
Boats near rivers side near fields near fields where grapes vines bide breezes blow benign
Rainbow leaves sway sway dont stay stay they'll soon go away with me my world away
These times will pass once past once future once not there yet dont stray dont stray
Once shoveling rocks my cradle become browned box rocking me come calling
My world come visit me my time my time come falling

With me with me my world your pain our pain goes with me with me
When we go lets go together together we'll go go away
Our world my time our breath my rhyme Goodbye dearest one goodbye stay long don't go don't stray
Palm trees sway oranges bloom west breezes blow citrus scent lilts beneath poppies petals grown
They'll grow above me my world goes by grows grey
So alone so solitary dancing alone your time your rocking cradled world
My lawns my grass my pets your dandelions your poppied gardens sway

My palm trees your hair grows grey come visit me my world grows
Who knows who knows some world may never go never flow away
Along wind my letters write my worlds bright my smiles white our hair both grey
Never alone not solitary dancing home our time our billowing clothes unfurled might
Together cradling each other refinding reminding never resigning night
Gasping search white cotton birch each clasping grasping our breaths our perfect limbs together
Our world our time our breath our rhyme while clinging tight

Where we go lets go together together stay never never stray my friend
Where palm violins mallards swim oranges mountains pray without pain no limits stray
Well go well go away with me with you with my world your world free pain flees from you with me
When we go lets go together together pray come we'll go we'll go away
Away away we'll sway swept along with my world we'll go we'll go where orange mustard breezes sow
Come visit me my world come visit me my time my sweetest flight unfurled
Come stones throw come share we'll look just there
We'll go we'll run towards heated glare crossing over never bare our sunned somewhere-summer's brook
Welcome come welcome fearless dear don't forget our gathered stories clear
Come join my friend my worlds' ear our words our world together here come share our lovely book......

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Passing On Second Moments Dropped
Upon visiting old-town's cemetary

(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

passed upon moments still unchecked
granite waters tearing off still uncounted drops
various epitaphs greeting times well past delivered
messages stone-carved, some loved, some lost
departing harmonies fading carefree whistle pops
blowing kisses towards boats crossing old styx river

breaths leaking about myself
sunset's approaching streams indwelling
flow-amended churlish wind
glancing blows, paced irregularly, blinking
disclosing emergent darkest din

lost thoughts tooling up tomorrow's read
missed trickles withering porcelain plaster palms
climbing carefully down newborn cracks
wished-on, un-welcomed, wildly wandering
once departed, elsewhere posted black

lamentably listening searching staringly shoe-ward
dampened dancers crossing eviscerated living rooms
american-made, dry-battery-ed birch-blond radio singing silent songs
rocking, red rocking porch swing augmenting pendulum's dirty dance
resting raw, rugose, sharp shovels laid dead
rhythms sinking balmy breeze-borne ordinal wrongs

quieten night-scented moist-earth green
time reciting quietened rhymes white flags unfurled
carpets cleared wet mourning red steps intrusive
buried yawns yearning yesterday's yarns
muted welcomes worn restful
greeting rapidly ripening worlds

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Bad Dreams
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

awakening ceilings nearer earth
speeding through sleeping cityspace
staring stone along infinity's edge
recaptured cryings' raptured chase

intentions offer little liberation
moanings, nightlife's metaphor
involving signals not philosophy
blinking yellow midnight's open door

streets still between sudden hard attacks
counting silences severed down
calm cloaks sunset self's duress
surrounding starlight's surgical gown

cold hands count rough-hammered heartbeats
bared skin bricking one's twilit private cell
darkened sighs concealing simple screams
tiny terrors tapping nightshade's tolling bell

bittered betterment becomes awkwardly stout
breathed melody's descending slumber's dell
portending paltry peace-trimmed bouts
mending medicine's poorly costumed spell

false tablets promoting promised progress
prayer pressed palms plead pain's release
securing solaced parting thoughts
grasping raw reliefs' golden fleece

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Come Planting Time
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

nesting birds heed hatching hours
sycamores shed white winter's vests
brushing breezes birth warming wings
southern winds soon segue west

muddy roads reach rain-fogged fields
mustard greens greet greening stalks
pebbles plying puddled roads
sprouts arrive midst lichened rocks

farmer's dig disk tine-toiled earth
soft sown seeds birth native buds
white waters swell reservoirs
orangish oakballs lumber floating floods

bermuda livens lifeless lawns
greening gardens welcome wilder weeds
pale poppies set ready red orange cups
evergreens greet sprouting seeds

cooler clouds awaken woody worlds
april opens may's mothering ties
parched puffs pass stripy bumblebees
seedy sailers share subtended skies

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Rainy Days, Dulcet Dreams
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Reminiscences rounded up
Once green mountains, rising streams
Nudging childhood recollections
Bearing conjointly buoyant dreams

Downward drift dampening double-drops
Autumnal almonds vest valley air
Cloud-cloaked skies wet windows' sweat
Slippery grass darkens bark-woods bare

First-grade's morning milk-times past
Iced cool cartons' condensate
Moistened black boards' calcareous dust
Chalk schoolrooms' floor-waxed slate

Flashing lamps cry redder warnings
School-bus' smoke seatings' seams
Faded tires mud-splash braking drums
ozone mists scenting evergreens

Reaching home street's silvered streams
Wearing raincoats' yellow hats
Clear over-boots cloaking muddy, soaking socks
Windowsills perching purring cats

Afternoon rhymes nurture naptime tales
Spirits saturate, Night light glows
Warm worlds wearing woolly white pajamas
Daring dreams darning poet's poetic prose

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Growing Goodbyes
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

crossing crossed one field together
tethered weathered worn thin blues
sweated bothered battered bettered
jading outgrown garden shoes

crossing crossed one wood together
stooping stomping bended knees
crying spying silence severed
tales tending family trees

crossing crossed one sky together
steeled wings shined silver white
painting fainting wanting waiting
candled windows closing tight

crossing crossed one time together
streaking silent quieten age
freedom failing faroff trailing
protecting private curtilage

crossing crossed one life together
far apart seem grasping hands
waters tide strewn sands beneath
questing together untrammeled lands

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NOW
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

now lives now breathes
now sighs now rests
now flowers now simmers
now standing now stressed

now rises now flounders
now ticking now chimes
now singing now shouting
now pennies now dimes

now loves now looses
now cries now sways
now darkens now lightens
now beckons now days

now yearns now rejoices
now wanting now feeds
now honors now cherished
now sacrificed now bleeds

now passes now comes
now arrives now declines
now rises now wanders
now eating now wines

now builds now projects
now growing now small
now guessing now blessing
now winter now fall

now largest now smaller
now guaranteed now crossed
now leading now followed
now following now lost

now smartest now wondering
now smaller now here
now getting now betting
now foggy now clear

now roses now poppies
now birches now clover
now droughted now flowing
now starting now over

now poses now projects
now leases now gives
now washes now rinses
now sickens now lives

now travelling now visiting
now raising now home
now building now butchered
now falling now foam

now wonders now writes
now retelling now bread
now scrawling now brawling
now birthing what's said

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Wakened Writers
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Wakened writers weather worlds askew
early thoughts yarn yeasted words
cogitation sometimes signs shy answers
introspection rails blacker surds

early entries wing lighter travels
firm phrases waken wetter whirls
nascent numbness gnaws crafted crafting nights
letting eclipsed light's long shadows furl

calling cold redacted phrases
chilled chest holds silvered senses
compressing crush defines declension
carressing cries calm crushing tenses

early autumn eschews announcement
cutting blades swerve slightly right
summer scents swell watered winds
fickle fears bind blinded sights

lovers lash damp deeds despaired
doubters dream cross cushioned chances
seekers sail yet hindsighted horizons
tale tellers trace tallest treetop branches

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Dawn Dawn
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

dawn draws nighttime's negligee
sleep sleep sailplaning stars
aurora's progression shrinks streetlight's transgression
closed flowers await mid-morn's bazar

far far ranging silence changing
pomegranate jelly jars
waters running sparrows sunning
solar sojourners electric cars

vivid leaves' viridity luminescent
furrowed fields waving wheat
flaxen hillsides grow omnipresent
crowded crowding grows Packwood street

away away blows soiled clay
never stays prior evening's dew
purple comes greets growing plums
mists immixing morning's stew..

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Harvest's Twilight
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Water's peak, year's readiness
Dancing practiced, hues perfected
White oaks broadcast Autumn dwellers
Vivid ariled seeds reflected

Wind recitals reap trees gray gambol
Once sometimes puissant storms subside
Dry breezes resound bespoken murmurs
Unfettered flights leaf piles abide

Celebration, fall migration
Mars' back hosts ruckled rhymers' ride
Winters wetter wayward wanderers
Hail cool cooler twilights' tide

Rains advances, Different dances
Played out, some severing strongest stems
Colder nights silence Springtime's teamwork
Autumn's life boats sail summered limbs

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Unencumbered Freely Wander
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

Ponderous pounds
jeer
jaunty jumps
careful cats
climb canted trees
beetle broods
brace
browning barks
twisting trunks
tower
stoutly stiffened
lilting leaves
west winds
fall free

garden hands
grasp soiled
seedy sands
growing grass-green
podding peas
puddled wigglers
well sun-warmed waters
long lithe limbs
lift leary meadowlarks
wild oaten spiders' webs
cloak flaxen seas...

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Finale - California Quilted
(Left Clicking the Poem's Title Activates its Music)
by Todd Harris

wild weaving wide weave intense thread quilting quieter red
patches swatches containing blotches loosened strings
crinkled wonton crimson trying wilding tired twin bed
squares border rings rounding diamond traced moiled things

sewing knowing cool cerulean colors flowing
frustrated wrinkles ironed out ink blots
whitened hand-cut sprinkles silkened spots
linen muslin backing twine slackened pulled taut

orange yellow blue batches polygons pairing patches
steaming straight woven materials' worsted weight
intricate patterned circles tilting counterpoised matches
seams tightening bordered stitched knots reordered straight

cut out made whole covering recovering bedsheets cold
emptying trunks thrown material junk worn wicker baskets full
old leaves spotted sheaves sketched butterflies purpled pollen theives
watching watches winding winding well worn spooled wool

thrown sewn cut torn cloth unknown sources fragile forces
carefully coddling softly swaddling slumber's streams
wholeness parted rejoined stitches charting darted courses
covers meeting seams casting pressed flat tie-died creams
wrapping mapping consoling controlling occaisonally extolling
childhood’s chapter’s best blessed begotten dreams


A Brief Summary of Todd Harris.

Dr. Todd Harris
P.O. Box 3326 Visalia, CA 93278
Email: pcas@sbcglobal.net

Dr. Todd Harris has written music and poetry since his childhood. He lives and works in California, with his family and wife, Svetlana, a Russian Concert pianist. Dr. Harris is a commissioned composer and a research scientist, Director/Physicist at the Pacific Institute For Advanced Studies. He is completing his book on Sonology. His poems have been published on the web and in several countries. Dr. Harris has pioneered in the development of contemporary composition. He developed the Modular Tonal system of composition and has written ten piano concertos, a flute and piano concerto, and several orchestral and chamber works using his new system. His works have been performed by major artists and concert orchestras. His mentor was composer Peter Fricker, for whose guidance he will always be grateful.
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A Special Note of Appreciation
The grant was funded through "Subito", the quick advancement program of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum, an organization committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music, while providing them valuable resources for professional and artistic development. We also wish to acknowledge the James Irvine Foundation for their committment to this important program.

On a personal note, I want to thank my sister Tracy Harris, and my wife Svetlana Harris, for their invaluable input and assistance with the music on this site. I would also like to thank my parents Norman and Sandra Harris for their critical editing and support of the poetry. Additionally, special thanks goes to my sister Wendy and brother-in-law Tom LeBlanc with "LeBlanc Web Development" for all their hard work in the construction and design and posting of this site. I also want to thank Tod Brody and staff at American Composers Forum in San Francisco for their kind assistance, and I want to express my appreciation of my friend Ed Tomlinson and his "California Keyboards' in Bakersfield for all his help including the kind access given me to Yamaha equipment - all piano music on this site was recorded using Yamaha instruments. Finally, I want to thank my friends in the UK, Liz and the Staff and membership of the organization "Disabilty Writes", on the web at www.disabilitywrites.org.uk, for the invaluable encouragement & support given to my written word.

 

 

 

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