Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
More hard family news came our way this week, and life kind of feels like a slog right now. Thank you for all your virtual hugs and good thoughts coming my way! On the plus side, our daughter who’s lived overseas for the past 10 years is back in the States for at least a year or two. Whee! It is SO good to have her here.
And for a writing highlight, something new! Some of y’all might know I’m not the world’s biggest fan of orchestral music. Music without words? Pass.
But choral music, combining words and rhythm and voices and beauty? Yes, please. I don’t know much about the choral music world, actually. But I met Minnesota composer Shruthi Rajasekar at a Minnesota Public Radio event, and I absolutely loved her choral work that premiered there, “Sat on the Shore.” We chatted a bit, and I later sent her a sampling of my poetry, offering to collaborate someday. Shruthi ended up adapting lines from five of my poems into a choral composition called “Heart of Earth.” It was one of several pieces commissioned by her alma mater, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, for its 50th Birthday Gala Concert. I can’t wait to hear it! The RNCM concert happened today, Thursday, June 22, 2023. It’s being broadcast on BBC3 next Thursday, and I’m hoping to hear it!
One of the poems Shruthi used lines from is “Advice from a Forest.” I wrote and shared this one 5 years ago in a Poetry Sisters monthly challenge.
Shruthi’s lines in “Heart of Earth” are:
Fling your leaves into the sky
Give your apples to the deer
Look up so you will find your way
–Excerpted from “Heart of Earth,” composed by Shruthi Rajasekar
It’s like she shook the dust off my lines so that they sparkle in a new way. It’s so lovely to look at my original words and see them upcycled into a new artwork in a different form! I can’t wait to hear this performance. You can see Shruthi’s entire composition at her blog. This is such an exciting thing to me. Choral music is a new (to me) possibility for sharing my poetry with people. I’m hoping more choral avenues will open up to me! Composers–call me :>D
And for lots more wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with artist-educator-poet Linda Mitchell! One of the other poems Shruthi adapted for “Heart of Earth” was the result of one of Linda’s previous clunker challenges!