We were in the audience last night for the Broadway musical Once, and guess who else was in the theater? Markéta Irglová, co-star with Glen Hansard in the 2007 film and co-writer of the music for the play. What a lovely surprise.
She has a new solo album out. The video for one of the songs, “The Leading Bird,” is lovely, too. (It features a marvelous dancer, Maria Alejandra Jara De Marco, and was shot in Iceland.)
Irglová has this knack for minimalist repetition of a melodic line. She uses it to draw us in, á la Philip Glass. It builds and builds as she sketches the outlines of something much larger, of which we get glimpses.
Note the crib, the typewriter, and the manuscript in the video. The cross-cutting with the vastness of the Icelandic plain is brilliant. She’s captured it beautifully: the daily challenge to recognize the grace present in every lived moment. The freedom we have to dance within the four walls of our everyday lives.
Clouds descend on grass grown wild,
Tall and grand, lush in hand.
They bend in air as man in prayer.
I’m weaving through, trying to get to you.
I’m running past birds of dawn,
They sing like heaven, they’re leading on.
Yet I don’t see slow motioned wings,
Like gold in sun, how it could be won.
White as snow silk-feathered doves.
Eternal glow, they easily know.
That life is grand in all its shapes,
Whether it gives, whether it takes.
That I am you, you are me, and
Loving grace can set us free,
From sprinting far, above, beyond,
Being our own strong magic wand.
I’m pushing through, though knowing this,
Thinking it all falls behind the next abyss.
I’ll get there soon and dwell there some,
’Til it’s time for the next cloud to come.
Kudos to any readers who recognized the similarity between the lake scene in the video and this: