MODEL LOVE: Not Your Grandmother’s Song Cycle (a.k.a. The Orgasm Post)

NOTE: This post has been rated NSFW: Not Safe For Work

(But then again, you shouldn’t be reading this at work, should you?)

While perusing Facebook and cozying up to my coffee cup yesterday morning, I stumbled upon a friend’s enthusiastic endorsement of Nicole Daedone’s TEDxSF talk “Orgasm: The Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman.” I immediately thought of MODEL LOVE. Had the Lovers in our song cycle practiced what Ms. Daedone preached, I wouldn’t find myself singing lines like these:

Men folk tell of a fabled creature 

called the female orgasm

It comes in the night

and it’s so enormous

it makes your hair stand on end and your toes curl.

Men folk enact a strange dance

to conjure up the spirit of the mythical beast,

but this usually brings forth only the male of the species

which is smaller and thought to resemble a slug 

due to its sticky trail.

We don’t know much about who this woman is or where she comes from, but in songs like “Prehistoric Courtship,” we see what she has in common with both of her male Model Lovers: a frustrated desire to connect coupled with the inability to do so. Left unsatisfied after both men have climaxed, her vocal line rises with longing and pent-up rage, before descending to its sad conclusion:

It is said the beast could be brought forth

if the men-folk didn’t engage in the preliminary

twelve pints of lager ritual

…but that’s old wives’ tales.

Schumann recognizing a woman in desperate need of a song cycle.

In case it isn’t clear yet, let me give it to you straight: MODEL LOVE is not your grandmother’s FRAUENLIEBE UND -LEBEN.

In fact, there are some surface similarities between the two song cycles: both works are composed of eight songs. Both begin with a piece about the marvel and mystery of attraction. And both come to an end as the singer confronts painful realities about a long-held dream of love and relationship. But, where Schumann’s Frau sings sincerely of the joys of marriage and motherhood, the Men and Woman of MODEL LOVE have a very different story to share: of the darkness of hungers long-unexpressed and what happens when we forget how to connect.

Has Ms. Daedone uncovered the cure for the insatiable hunger that lurks within?  We don’t pretend that MODEL LOVE can answer that question, but we do plan on giving you one hell of a good show.

See you Sunday…

Rose

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