The Jester (1972) 

Music - Stuart Diamond, Words - Robert Host 

The Jester is one of my favorite works. It is an electronic song-cycle created with the first commercial analog synthesizers, including a classic Buchla modular system,full-studio ARP 2500, and the Baldwin Electric Harpsichord.  Recorded on one of the first Ampex AG-440 analog tape recorders. 

For those who know or care about such matters, these were the crucible instruments of their time.

The work itself is primitive, yet perhaps primal. It is an hallucinogenic, nightmare trip into a sonic dreamscape, a place where a Christ figure and The Jester fuse into a mocking, jousting Savior.

SD

 
 


 

The Jester

By Robert Host

ZAP!

  
     
 


they ..... the ............. frozen in their moonlight .............mildewed

they
are crying ................................................in the churches ........ glassed offerings 
. ..................................................................buildings >>>>>>>>> broken elevators
______________________________houses___________ no curtains
. ============================= boxes ============no shoes 

...................but
------something swim(s) 
----- in the tears
----- an embryo-----------yawns======stretches--------------------------smiles
----- in itself 
----- curls a mouth 
=== cries alive
======crying ====== out there === are ===================to
====================================================somewhere

==============================where

888888888888888888 things
22222222222222222curl
====================inwards
======================like
=======================a monkey's 
=========================== === toes


where======================patterns ================are

========================
frozen branches 
========================blown
========================without touching

========================
children in crisp
========================striped uniforms
========================grinning pink

========================deep purple sandcastles
========================permanent against 
++++++++++++++++++++++++yellow waves

that's where
there
he is ================in the middle of 

===========
monsters===== three-eyed===== playing with red balls
===========saints ========like poles====== with white eyes raised
===========men ========= at tables =======feasting like beggars

there
himself
the jester

  

 

 

     
 the you see . . . the jester he defies the normal
categories applied to things like men and

 
     
 jester angels not because he transcends description or anything of the sort like that but
 
 laughs   
 like more because of you see a strange
sort of well problem in the inert

 
     
 the wind desuetude of our established
on a modes and uh patterns of lin-

 
 on a   
 night ear development in the ral-
son d'etre which the mental

 
     
 when moral and aesthetic more-
the classical quote

 
     
 the child value construction
made implicit by

 
 is left   
 


alone

in

 our rational and
extensively
civilized... 

 
     
 the house   
   
  thejester 
     
  A.  
   grew one night ........... bolted up
--------------------------like an instant mushroom
--------------------------crystal gardens
--------------------------a magic cake mix
some called him the work 
of the finger of God
others claimed to be 
more realistic

 
     
  B.  
   

roars with the Angels down 42nd on bikes coughing pennies and loaves of bread

wraps cold marble babies in blankets of warm rain on 125th

swirls streams of moving colors in New York harbor

guffaws in the front row of the Riverside Church during the Lord's Prayer

turns rats gold and maroon .... caueses them to repair the holes in bathroom floors and heal the white cracks in the poor

sells spiritual literature in Tines Square on an August day

climbs to the tip of the Chrysler building to throw peacock feathers to the crowd

ties the General's blue suedue shoelaces togedther in triple knots

makes unintelligible gestures with his upper lip while sitting in the audience of the David Sussking show

rode a black tin swan triumphantly on a white-capped Hudson to sea

 
   
  the 
one-toed 
jester 
pir-
ou-
ettes
at 
the pole 
skips 
down 
long-
i-
tudes 
trips 
the
equa-
tor

 
   vibrates
like piano wire

 
  hangs  
  singout
green sky

  
  by
a
fin-
ger
 
  
  nail (s)  
 playing
stretches an arm

   
  vast taffy ribbon with red and green stripes  
     

  ..outbeyond
together  
 dancing  
   
  

the jester


laughs


vanishes



in a word