But the Butt Music!

Yes, I said ‘Butt” music. And it is music from a butt… written on a butt, I should say, in the 15th century by the Dutch artist Hieronymous Bosch in his painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. (Wikipedia link here)

The Garden of Earthly Delights! by Hieronymous Bosch

Before I go any further let me say that I had a wonderful evening last night watching my dear friend, ace finger-picking guitarist, Stevie Coyle and his compadre Glenn Houston entertain the crowd at The Coffee Gallery Backstage here in Altadena. They call themselves The Quitters and their website is here with all kinds ofinformation (including this video of them performing live – click here).

I also had a part to play – and that’s where we circle back to the butt music.

Click on the picture to enlarge and see the detail

If you look closely about three quarters of the way down on the left of the right hand panel there is a body being crushed under a giant lute (and harp) – and his butt is clearly visible (as you can if you expand this picture of the panel here on the right.

Well now, as I understand it, a very talented woman (Amelia Hamrick, I believe) decided to not just observe that there were music notes written on the backside of said unfortunate in this insane painting but to transcribe them – and from this link you can get to a YouTube video that gives you a sense of how that music sounds.

Stevie messaged me a week or so ago and told me that they would be playing their version of this tune and wondered if I would like to do some kind of reading over the top of it live at the Coffee Gallery event. He suggested something spooky (it being the week of Halloween and the fact that, if you listen to it, the music has a certain haunted sound to it). I did some in internet searching for short spooky material and actually came up with 5 very short pieces written by members of the public and submitted to a Reddit that had asked for scary tales.

Here’s the shortest sample I used:

“My daughter won’t stop crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I visit her grave and ask her to stop, but it doesn’t help…”

Spooky, yes?

It all went wonderfully and I was immensely grateful to Stevie for having the idea, and giving up some of their stage time to allow me to be a part of The Quitters’ show.

This is a short blog (but it still counts right?) because we had a very late night last night and I had more computer issues today with lots of catch-up recording to be done. But enough complaining – let me finish with my favorite of the short readings from last night (but perhaps don’t read just before bedtime if you are of sensitive disposition):

“My daughter woke me around 11:50 last night. My wife and I had picked her up earlier in the evening from her friend Sally’s birthday party, brought her home, and put her to bed. My wife went into the bedroom to read while I fell asleep watching TV.
“Daddy,” she whispered, tugging my shirt sleeve. “Guess how old I’m going to be next month.”
“I don’t know, beauty,” I said as I slipped on my glasses. “How old?”
She smiled and held up four fingers.
It is 7:30 in the morning now. My wife and I have been up with her for almost 8 hours. She still refuses to tell us where she got them.

And that’s more than enough for today.

Take Care (and sleep well)
– S.



About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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One Response to But the Butt Music!

  1. Jan Johnston November 6, 2017 at 4:48 am #

    Ooh…. titillating us today!! I love the Bosch. I never noticed the scored butt, though! Can’t wait to get online and do some research on that and listen to your music offering.

    The short story is intriguing!!

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