It is easy to be entertained by entertaining art - pop songs, dance music, and the blues are all designed to distract, uplift, delight.

But art song is different. It is designed to provoke thought.

It is intentional art - art that the creators hope will touch you and communicate with you on a deeper level. And being that, it isn’t something that our current culture has made much room for.

 

By subscribing to this blog you will receive essays, musing, meditations and history about this poetic music. We will look at the songs with a modern eye, learning from the past and incorporating thoughtfulness into our present.

Where we are always in a rush to be productive, happy and useful, art would have us step back for contemplation and wonder.

This blog is

writing and singing,

        together.

January 20, 2017

KEEP FAITH, KEEP WATCH,

TAKE HEART, TAKE COURAGE,

GUARD MIND, GUARD SPIRIT.

FEED LOVE, FEED LONGING.

- from “Now We Belong,” poem by Michael Dennis Browne

Composed by John Wykoff

Performed by Cameron La...

January 5, 2017

Singing, to me, feels like walking around inside of a poem. When I perform “At Last to be identified” by Emily Dickinson, set by Richard Pearson Thomas, I feel like I am flying in Dickinson’s imag...

November 11, 2016

Calamity Jane? In art songs? If you have seen her name in the program for Rebecca Sack’s Nov. 26 Songs@Tsunami concert you might be surprised. You might say: “I thought art song was all from Germa...

November 9, 2016

Las horas de la vida

Sephardic folk song

Arranged by Mathilda Salvador (1918-2007)

Laura Wayte, soprano

David Rogers, guitar

A la una yo nasi,

a las dos m'engrandesi,

a las tres tomi amante,

a las cuatro...

October 12, 2016

What is Art Song?

The musical genre of “Art Song” is broadly defined as poetry set to composed music, using classical instruments and voices. It is a broad category because poems vary in form, subj...

October 10, 2016

Americans have spent lot of time thinking about race relations in the past year. It occupies my thoughts constantly, even speaking from the poems of 14th century Spain. How could that be? Haven’t...

July 18, 2016

 Vond Dag, from Haugtussa, music by Edvard Grieg, poetry by Arne Garborg

WE are fortunate to be given life. Fortunate to get this chance to love and engage with others in this beautiful world. But,...

July 18, 2016

Living

by Denise Levertov

The fire in leaf and grass

so green it seems

each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves

shivering in the sun,

each day the last day

A red salamander

so cold and so

e...

July 5, 2016

"I was once a little child, three years ago. That child who longed for other worlds. But now I am no more a child for I have learned to hate. I am a grown-up person now. I have known fear."

-Hanus...

July 3, 2016

Walking the dogs this morning I passed by the neighborhood cherry trees to see if they were ripe. I look forward to the wild fruit around us - little gifts, “amuse-bouche” that confirm how life go...

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