“The songs deepen the color of the shadow”: Ashbery mash-ups by Cassandra Gillig

A few months ago, I posted a link to a great mash-up created by the poet Cassandra Gillig which brought together Frank O’Hara’s “Ode to Joy” with a song by Drake.  Fortunately, Gillig has made few more in the same vein and they’ve just been posted at the Ashbery Home School website — this time featuring John Ashbery’s words and voice combined with music by Drake and Britney Spears.

Like Gillig’s earlier inspired uses of recordings by O’Hara, Alice Notley, and Hannah Weiner, her fusion of Ashbery with music works surprisingly well.  I’m particularly taken with the first — which merges one of my favorite Ashbery poems, “A Blessing in Disguise,” with some somber, lingering piano chords.  It’s beautiful and haunting:

I prefer “you” in the plural, I want “you,”
You must come to me, all golden and pale
Like the dew and the air.
And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.

The second, which uses a portion of “The Skaters,” is attributed to “Drakeberry,” and the third, a mash-up of “And You Know” and Spears, is by “Ashbritney.”

You can check all three pieces out here.

* My title comes from a line in Ashbery’s poem “Business Personals

                                                          So now we know
What occupations to stick to (scrimshaw, spinning tall tales)
By the way the songs deepen the color of the shadow
Impregnating your hobby as you bend over it,
Squinting.

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