The 24 hour challenge

The 24-Hour challenge:

  1. Pick a number between 1 and 5.
  2. Pick a number between 1 and 1082.
  3. Pick a number between 1 and 40.
  4. Email those three numbers to me, in order: 2-563-24, for example.

Here’s what I’m going to do. I have selected five books of poetry from my shelves:

  • The Best American Poetry 1999 (2000)
  • A Controversy of Poets: an anthology of contemporary American poetry (1965)
  • Master Poems of the English Language (1966)
  • Poems for the Millennium: the University of California book of modern & postmodern poetry, vol. II (1998)
  • A Year in Poetry: a treasury of classic and modern verses for every date on the calendar (1995)

Those are not in order 1-5, by the way. Your three numbers will give me: a volume, a page number, and a line number. If the page number or line number exceeds the number of pages or lines, I’ll do the modular math thing until I get to a number which is contained in the volume/page. A couple of the books have essays interspersed; if the page number is within an essay, I’ll move to the first page of poetry after the essay.


I’ll post the sender and the line of poetry (perhaps the complete sentence, if I’m in the mood) and within 24 hours (defined as “before midnight of the following day”), I will compose a brief setting of that line for baritone voice, i.e, me, and post it here. I am not going to compose an entire piece, merely that one line, for voice and piano (or if I’m really inspired, a string quartet).

The doings so far:

  1. 5/21/09 , “A long farewell,” for Turff: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  2. 5/22/09 , “Gospel choruses,” for Marc: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  3. 5/23/09 , “I Dance a Clubfoot’s Waltz,” for Mike: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3] | This actually turned into the first movement of Pieces for Bassoon & String Quartet, at the urging of Michael Giel.
  4. 5/24/09 , “How It Breaks for Them,” for Emily: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  5. 5/24/09 , “I’ll Turne My Face,” for Aditya: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  6. 5/25/09 , “The Plague of Blood and Gold,” for Terry: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  7. 5/27/09 , “Your Dolefull Dreriment,” for Craig: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  8. 5/28/09 , “My Eccho Ring,” for Jobie: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  9. 6/3/09 , “Atlantic Beats,” for Aditya: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  10. 6/4/09 , “That Unique Sun,” for Peter: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  11. 6/5/09 , “Burning of a House,” for Betty: score [pdf], performance [mp3], bassoon [mp3]
  12. 4/19/13, “Maecenas Birthday,” for Mike: score [pdf], bassoon [mp3]

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