Aleksey Dayen and A.D. Winans

Aleksey Dayen and A.D. Winans

Aleksey Dayen. Photo by Pavel Antonov. New York, 2001

I was introduced to the work of A.D Winans by our mutual friend, the New York based, Russian poet Aleksey Dayen.
We met in Swansea, Wales, in 2009, where we were both performing at a poetry/music event.
We jammed together - had a lot of fun and as it
was my birthday, ended up, outside in the rain sipping Jameson's Irish
whiskey from the bottle.

Before we parted, we decided/vowed that somehow we would make an album together.
We kept in close contact, sometimes on a daily
basis and in the summer of 2010 he sent me some of Allan Winan's work
and told me he was planning on filming a documentary on his life and
work and invited me to write some songs/music for it.

It was to be called 'Bleeding Words and Restless Ghosts' The Story of San Francisco Poet A.D. Winans by Aleksey Dayen.

A few weeks later I was in Scotland for the graduation of my daughter, Amy, from Edinburgh University ... Aleksey was in San Francisco with Al scouting locations and taking lots of
photos which I collected on the road from friend's computers and internet cafes (Aleksey was a very talented photographer).
Shortly after he sent me this scan of the artwork for the planned film.

Artwork and photos by Aleksey Dayen 2010
Allan sent me some CDs and copies of his writing ... I was electrified by it.
I've been; performing, writing, recording for a
long time ... been lucky inasmuch as I've never run out of ideas but -
discovering Dayen's and Winan's words was truly inspiring.

I had collaborated a few times before  but never with poets ... and non rhyming schemes.
I've spent my time working from the templates
of all the great songwriters in rock 'n' roll, jazz, blues, pop and
country who came before me.
Being asked to work with these writings was a gift.

I don't know yet if this track/version is a
demo or if it will be the final one ... was done lo-fi on a Sony
MiniDisc and an Apple Mac.
It's actually called 'At Folsom Prison' , the
same as A.D. Winans poem. This version has me fooling around with some
train sound overdubs ... 'Foolin' with Folsom'.

I set three of Allan's poems to music for the
film, this is one of them. It comes from when he was involved in
teaching programmes at Folsom Prison, California.

Aleksy Dayen passed away suddenly in November
2010 at the the age of 38. At the time of his death I was also working
on setting some of his poems to music.

As I write,  I'm working on an album project
for 2012, writings of A.D. Winans and Aleksey Dayen and some songs I've
written as tributes/homages to the Russian prince.

Some of this text and an mp3 of 'At Folsom Prison' is published online at Outlaw Poetry Network

'The Boy From Kiev', a song I wrote for Aleksey on learning of his death, was published by Shabdaguchha, a Bengali bilingual poetry magazine which is run by Hassanal Abdullah in New York .

It will soon be published by Leah Angstman's Alternating Current in Poiesis #5

The Boy From Kiev (for Aleksey Dayen)

Kiev to Coney Island
is a long way to go
political refugees
dream in neon, vodka and snow
see paradise at f.22
hear surf guitars at dawn
Prospero said life's wrapped in sleep
now let the sleepy boy yawn

At the end of the life
at the end of the day
my brother the prince
will just slip away
footprints in the sand
from Kiev to Coney Island      Avenue

Kiev to Coney Island
where flowers die in the trash
ghost radio plays Elvis
the liquor store takes cash
I've got a big guitar
I've got a funeral suit
we'll take the train to nowhere
find where they hid the loot

Kiev to Coney Island
leather jacket packet of smokes
you fill in the spaces
with what an image evokes
Russian jazz and blues
Irish girl behind the door
you think that you can choose
but truth always wipes the floor
Lyric & Music by Terry Clarke © Bucks Music
This is an early version/draft of the song.
Terry Clarke; Guild 12 string acoustic guitar, Joseph Clarke on Gretsch
1962 Country Classic, both on Jose Cuervo Especial.
The Boy From Kiev (for Aleksey Dayen) connect
See the Links page of this site for Aleksey Dayen and A.D. Winans.

I'll be posting more on this page as I progress
with the album project. As I say above, Aleksey was to use three of my
songs/tracks for the planned film. All being my adaptations of poems by
A.D. Winans, they are; The Old Men of Aquatic Park, At Folsom Prison and
On San Francisco Streets.
Below are Al's original recordings of him
reading followed by my song interpretations, at the moment they are
basic guitar and vocal versions which I'll be building on.
A.D. Winans
At Folsom Prison Connect
San Francisco Streets Connect
The Old Men of Aquatic Park Connect
From My Window Connect

Terry Clarke
At Folsom Prison Connect
San Francisco Streets Connect
The Old Men of Aquatic Park Connect
From My Window Connect

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