The Grass is Green, in the Fields for You
Letter (writing) is a central reference — given Eastman’s penchant to put pen to paper, bringing the personal into the open — and the text itself reads like a letter being written or a conversation unfolding. It is swift and agile, carrying us along as it joins the dots, while breaking at times for a moment of improvisation, silence, or a prompt to speak. Formally, we hear the voices not just of Jessica, but of Eastman (of course!), Joan of Arc, Gertrude Stein and scholars of Eastman’s life, which offer a gentle introduction for those who may not be familiar with his life and work. An engagement with letters — as in correspondence as well as units of language — are at the core of our reading of the song. Complexity and simplicity were central to Eastman’s practice and character in the same way a letter can “tell all”, an exclamation mark can give a little more.