In this endeavor, I’ve often felt jealous of one of my other loves: music, in that it seems to have (sometimes) a more direct route to one’s emotional core. How many times have I been shaken by song—that goes beyond or beneath language—straight into the mind, the heart. (Fret not, visual artists, dancers, and others—I’m jealous of you, too.)
So I’m thrilled (and deeply honored) when artists or musicians wish to collaborate or to borrow a poem to use as inspiration for a score. Three times in recent years I’ve been so lucky, to hear how a musician thinks and feels and pens into musical notation what they imagine and hear and feel my poems to be doing between (and from) the words. It’s always a surprise and a delight to hear the final score, and though I can’t read music, to see it notated.
Thanks to Jay Batzner, to Andrew Spencer, to David Biedenbender, to Kennen and Joanna Cowan White–and their collaborators, for letting me hear what they hear between the lines, so to speak. If you’re curious what they’ve made of a few of my poems, check out the MEDIA page, or click around below.
“May Our Young Find Music in All Our Broken Instruments” (from Our Sudden Museum)
(Solo Percussion and Spoken Word. Score by Jay Batzner, performed by Andrew Spencer.)
“Staying the Night” (from Our Sudden Museum)
(Composed for flute and clarinet, by David Biedenbender. Performed by Nicole Molumby, flute and Leslie Moreau, clarinet (Boise State University): 2014 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors National Conference, St. Louis, MO.)