A Request for Mr. Cohen

Debate on Leonard Cohen's poetry (and novels), both published and unpublished. Song lyrics may also be discussed here.
User avatar
hydriot
Posts: 878
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 3:07 am
Location: back in the UK

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby hydriot » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:21 pm

Lostlyric wrote:Many of us heard your work from the “Book of Longing” performed by artistes working with Mr. Glass…..it was a disappointment to many of us to say the least…except of course the track you performed
Surely, the spoken voice throughout Philip Glass' Book of Longing was Leonard's? It certainly was when I attended on 20 October 2007 in London. Or is Biraj referring to the musical interpretation?

As revealed somewhere on that Oct 2007 thread, Leonard provided Philip Glass with, I think, the entire Book of Longing recorded in his voice, so at this stage let us simplify our humble supplication and ask merely for the immediate release of those two CD's. That involves no work at all for anybody, could be done at minimal expense, be published before the tour ends, and offered for sale along with the T-shirts and other promotional items at the remaining concerts.

It would also allow the AEG team to gauge demand for a wider spoken-word library ... and all at minimal cost.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
User avatar
tomsakic
Posts: 5245
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Contact:

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby tomsakic » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:38 pm

Indeed LC recorded complete BoL for Glass' purposes and that recording is easily ready for release. Jarkko spoke about that with Leonard in 2006 or 2007 and it was mentioned here on the forum, but the tour has taken priority.

Btw, the email you used to write to LC's manager is not valid for a long time now, almost a year. The right email is at http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com (on the right).
HOW TO CONTACT LEONARD COHEN AND HIS MANAGEMENT:

You may contact his manager Mr. Robert Kory at rkory@rkmgment.com. Mailing address for all correspondence:

RK Management, LLC
9300 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 200
Beverly Hills,CA 90212
USA
User avatar
lightning
Posts: 1346
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2002 4:54 am
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby lightning » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:33 pm

Artists are at their best and purist when they alone decide what they should record not manipulated by the importunings of fans or commercial interests. Poetry comes from the inner voice so let that decide if it wants to record.
Steven
Posts: 2140
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:32 am

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby Steven » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:48 pm

Hi Lightning,

Just a quick reply on a very busy day. Can't say I've completely read all the replies in this
thread. The parts I've read, though, have been closer to encouragement rather
than manipulation. Audience feedback, even when it is applause, though, is both
encouragement and a possible manipulative influence. So, I'm not aruging
with you, really, just making something of a distinction between the
two words. In any case, "if it be his will" (L.C.'s)-- should always carry
the day for him, and anyone else (when self-applied), for that matter. Take care.
User avatar
Manna
Posts: 1998
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:51 am
Location: Where clouds go to die

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby Manna » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:09 am

Dear Leonard,

To hear you speaking words that are meaningful to you would only enhance the enjoyment of hearing you speak at all. Sometimes when I hear your Cadillac voice, it feels a little naughty, like I'm spying on your engine. You could talk about the time you rolled down the window and caught flies in your mouth, weighing their flavours against the famous Red Needle, and I would giggle like Terry Gross.

Best wishes,
M

ps. I think this is the first time I've flirted with you. I'm sure it's the evening - misting and warm. Please forgive the atmosphere.
Lostlyric
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:56 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby Lostlyric » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:37 pm

Hi Everyone:

It is good to get your support (and thoughts). And....

AnnePorter: Thank you for adding that perspective.......it is deeply valued...

Paula: :? I am a little confused by what you say. It seems you are of the view that Leonard's poetry and songs (or others poets works) recorded as spoken word in Leonard's voice should be something postponed till one is unable to tour (I guess you mean for years of physical decline). Firstly as SuzanneOrange pointed out he would need fine voice for spoken word poetry too......but hearing poetry in Leonard's voice, whether the words are authored by him or another poet is something unique...where you relate to the poet's work much differently than one relates to songs... if you hear Leonard's speech at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame Awards, he "spoke" "Tower of Song" but it had totally different impact than the song does...and where more can you find this glaring difference than with "Democracy" the song on the album...and "Democracy" the spoken word poem.....this is where I am coming from. I heard the song "Democracy" on the album perhaps twice in all these years and it is not included on my iPod....but the spoken word poem...it is set to repeat. And if you haven't heard the spoken word version of "Democracy" PM me your email addy and I will email it to you so you know what I am referring to.

SuzanneOrange thank you...

Hi Hydriot and Tom: Here is the BoL performance by Glass that I am referring to...I am sure you are referring to another one. I believe the link is for the original BoL that Glass performed when he toured along with the Glass Ensemble....my recollection is hazy on numbers but I think there is only a couple of tracks by Leonard on it. There is a DVD of it also:

http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Book-Longin ... 538&sr=1-1

...and Tom that was the address I found on the web at the time I wrote more than a year ago...but thank you for giving the new one.

Take care everyone....here's hoping,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
User avatar
Paula
Posts: 3150
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:20 am
Location: London

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby Paula » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:50 pm

Hi Biraj - I think Leonard reading his poems is an excellent idea it is one we discussed a few years ago when we thought he would never tour again. He is now touring again and I would have thought what spare time he has between the gruelling aspects of touring he will be chilling.

On that basis alone I think it should be shelved until he has finished touring. The other aspect was financial. I think whilst a living poet reciting his own work should happen, if only to keep for posterity, I can't imagine there would be a wealth of people waiting to buy it. I know I would buy it and a great many of the forum members would buy it but realistically who else would.

So on the one hand I think yes it should happen because I would like to know that his poems, recited by him, lived on immortalised on tape but on the other hand I cannot see a big market for it. And the way to dip your toe in the water would be to release the Glass tapes.
Dublin 14th June, Manchester 20th June, O2 17th July, Matlock Bandstand Aug 28, O2 14th November, Royal Albert Hall 17th and 18th November 2008, MBW 11th July 2009, Liverpool Echo 14th July 2009
Lostlyric
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:56 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby Lostlyric » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Hi Paula:

I am glad you think Leonard reading his poems as an audio publication is an excellent idea. Let Leonard decide the rest. None of us need speak or think for anyone else That is why I am asking. Neither should we be setting terms and conditions under which someone else should do something or to what degree. That is a bit presumptuous to say the least. You also said “…a great many of the forum members would buy it but realistically who else would”. They said that about his songs too. Leonard himself at his R'nRHoF induction referred to the music critic who in the 70s had said that he had seen the future of rock ‘n roll and that it was *not* Leonard Cohen!! There will always be objections and objectors to everything. If one were to wait till all objections were overcome NOTHING in this world would ever happen ANYWHERE, including our own lives.

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
User avatar
linmag
Posts: 892
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 10:10 pm
Location: Gloucester, UK
Contact:

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby linmag » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:12 pm

Just for the record, the following tracks on the Philip Glass CD make use of Leonard's spoken word, and as far as I remember that is as it was at the live performance at the Barbican.

Disc 1
1. I Can't Make the Hills
4. Want to Fly
8. You go Your Way
10. Not a Jew
13. I Enjoyed the Laughter
Disc 2
3. Dont Have the Proof
7. I am Now Able

Yes, I just flicked through the whole recording just to make sure I had it right - how sad is that? I really enjoyed the performance at the Barbican, but looking back I think it had a lot to do with the wave of emotion that washed into the room in Leonard's wake, and which was a pretty unique experience for most of us at that time. I eagerly bought the CD when it was released, but have only played it a couple of times as it's just not the same without Leonard there.

I would love to hear a CD of Leonard reading his own work, and I agree with Paula that releasing the BoL recordings would be a quick and easy way to do this. But what I would most like is to have an album of recitations along the lines of Vilanelle for our Time, To a Teacher and A Thousand Kisses Deep as perfomed live on tour, with musical backgrounds. Yes, I know Leonard's voice doesn't need any enhancement, but I still feel that the music adds an extra dimension, and the musicians he is working with at the moment would do it so well! Would it be too much to ask for both? Eventually? Please?
Linda

1972: Leeds, 2008: Manchester, Lyon, London O2, 2009: Wet Weybridge, 2012: Hop Farm/Wembley Arena
User avatar
abby
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:41 pm
Location: new mexico

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby abby » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:59 am

Dear Leonard,
When I was in New York in February and you recited A Thousand Kisses Deep, there was something in your speaking that was very tender and a little sad. It's not in the old recordings (how could it be?). Your singing is strong and clear, the music makes me want to dance, but I have an endless appetite for intimacy. That's a fault of mine but I think it's a fault of yours too. Would you consider recording some of your writing again, with the voice you've won for your little life in the world? I'm certain I could use it as a practice in mindfulness. And I'm certain it would comfort me when you are only memory.
your biggest fan,
Abby
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25340
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby lizzytysh » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:18 pm

An intimate, tender request, softly and tastefully spoken, Abby... may Leonard read and respond to you with his voice for all of us.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
lazariuk
Posts: 1859
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 5:38 am
Location: Montreal

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby lazariuk » Mon May 25, 2009 4:44 am

Dear Leonard

Being always ready to share a good bottle of whine I would like to get in on this request and do a bit of my own inveigling to assure that should the wine start flowing that it is one that I can enjoy as much as others and so with that in mind:

If you so choose to grant the requests mentioned above and I would think it would be hard for you to not do so having read how sweet and smart and soft and tender and humorous they are; I would like you to also consider another point of view. I like your poems and voice fine enough but I also think that it might help to get them to the intimate places of my heart to at least hear some of them being read by Anjani. You will have to forgive me as I have been raised to be a little uncomfortable with being too intimate with other men and I am so drawn to Anjani's voice.

I wouldn't be asking you to add this extra component to this requested project if I didn't think that it might also be something pleasing for you. I imagine that part of doing such a project is having to listen to what you have recorded to see if it needs redoing and I have seen the way that you look when you are listening to Anjani's voice and so I think my request would, along with pleasing me, also make it more pleasing for you.

Jack
Last edited by lazariuk on Mon May 25, 2009 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Everything being said to you is true; Imagine what it is true of.
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25340
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby lizzytysh » Mon May 25, 2009 5:57 am

I just happened in here right on time... I agree with you, too, Jack. Having heard how Anjani brought Leonard's lyrics the breath of the feminine on Blue Alert, I too feel it would be a dimension that everyone could enjoy... of course, men, yet women, too. At least this one. Again, I feel it's not necessary to change the gender for perspective. I like their original power, as is... and, if anyone can do satisfactory readings of Leonard's work, it's Anjani. This is not to say that she ought to take his place, of course [already noted by you, and just clarifying with me]. Great idea, Jack.

Leonard's legacy as a poet is still apart from him as a singer-songwriter, musician. He can lay claim to legacies in both, and I believe deep in my heart that he owes it to himself to do so.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Lostlyric
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:56 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby Lostlyric » Tue May 26, 2009 8:48 am

Greetings everyone:

Lizzy’s rightly points out that “Leonard’s legacy as a poet is still apart from him as singer-songwriter, musician”. It faithfully reflects the spirit of the request made to Mr. Cohen.

It has been said that there is darkness under the lamp. As admirers of Leonard’s work we have the privilege of knowing Mr. Cohen with a familiarity that is unprecedented for poets and artists of any other generation. In part this is because of Jarkko’s kindness and sustained efforts to create and maintain this website; to say nothing of Mr. Cohen’s generosity, graciousness and humility which have afforded us a closeness impossible otherwise. Given this it is easy for us to mistake Mr. Cohen merely as a popular singer.

As far as I am concerned his celebrity notwithstanding, Mr. Cohen and his poetry belong to the galaxy of poets like T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas and so on. It would not surprise me if Mr. Cohen himself disagrees with what I just wrote. The request to Mr. Cohen is a request made to him as the greatest poet of our time, who also happens to be a singer-songwriter and musician. And I don’t think anyone else reading a major poet’s work can form part of literary history, unless it happens to be a major poet himself reading someone else’s work. In fact this has been done with great effect and passion by Dylan Thomas reading some of the works of his favourite poets. The present request made of Mr. Cohen is made in the hope he will leave us and history, readings of his work in his own voice, which I find incredibly beautiful and resonant, and one which reflects the meaning of his work with unmatched precision. Of course if Mr. Cohen wishes to include others to read his work that is his prerogative. For me it is only Mr. Cohen’s voice that matters in the context of recorded readings of his own work, and I am certain history will concur.

For us on this forum to whom it may be of interest I am giving some links to audio publications of poets reading their own work. All these readings have now become part of literary history. And for lovers of poetry they bring unending joy, to say nothing of a sense of wonder, of history. The most comprehensive readings are by Dylan Thomas. Because he not only reads his own work, but also the works of poets whom he admires.

T.S. Eliot at:
http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/displ ... 0739315354

e.e. cummings, Robert Frost and others at:
http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/catalo ... f+the+poet

Dylan Thomas:
http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780 ... index.aspx

Sylvia Plath at:
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/disp ... 0375405990

Adrienne Rich at:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Vo ... 0553714890

Maya Angelou at:
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/disp ... 0375419492

Allen Ginsberg at:
http://www.allenginsberg.org/index.php? ... f-the-poet

Anne Sexton at:
http://library.booksontape.com/bookdetail.cfm/6774-CD


Best wishes,

Biraj
"So if you're sitting all alone and hear a-knocking at your door and the air is full of promises, well buddy, you've been warned!!!"

Nick Cave on love
ritamarie
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:24 pm

Re: A Request for Mr. Cohen

Postby ritamarie » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:13 pm

I heartfully agree that Leonard's spoken voice magnifies the impact of his poems. Does Leonard sometimes read what is posted on this forum?
Cheers,
Ritamarie.

Return to “Leonard Cohen's poetry and novels”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest