Excited to be collaborating with Owen Underhill again, next month, on a musical composition with bee poems from Listening to the Bees:
With support from Capilano Review, TPE is embarking on a new song project called Words & Music, presented at the Annex on March 9 & 10th, 2019. Words & Music will include a new collaboration between poet Renée Saklikar and Owen Underhill, a new theatrical work by Rita Ueda based on Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea with a libretto by Rod Robertson, and some witty and brilliant songs by the unheralded Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas.”
air india [redacted]: rehearsals at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre.
Four days in: libretto and music score, text and archive, singers and composer, conductor and director, and me, the poet.
The time it takes to enter into rhythm, tone, cadence. When artists gather and do the work.
That quality of an atmosphere, built up, by delving into detail.
This afternoon, when Owen said, “then we can feel the 8th notes underneath,”
I thought about language, fluid and solid, about the power of music, about time and its dimensions.
At the Wong Theatre, SFU WW: the score is in concert pitch (Jurgen Simpson); the singers are Canadian countertenor Daniel Cabena, bass Alexander Dobson, and soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke (New York) with Vancouver soprano Heather Pawsey and pianst Kinsa, conducted by Owen Underhill, under the direction of Tom Creed.
This is air india [redacted], live and unplugged. And then there’s media artist, John Galvin, with whom I enter, again, the archive: spreading out along the wood benches, Wong Theatre perimeter, my thirty-year collection: frayed newspaper clippings, the smell of old printer’s ink…during afternoon rehearsal, when Tom walks us through Jurgen’s score, I leave the documents in John’s care. Three decades worth of–