Open Reading with Eloise

June 24, 2009

Last night, Vox Femina hosted a reading of my new work for women’s chorus, HEALY MADRIGALS, based upon the poetry of Eloise Klein Healy. Iris Levine, the director, welcomed the small but warm audience and explained what was about to happen. I got up and spoke about the commissioning process as well a bit about composing. Then Eloise got up and spoke about her work and her own creative process.

Then, the chorus ran through each number. Eloise read the poem. Vox “read” the piece (they had had only one run-through), and then I got up and commented on each piece, making changes in almost every number and throwing one out — much to the delight of the audience.

People seemed to love the experience–watching the collaborative process in action. I was happy that everyone responded to the pieces so well. As I said, Eloise’s poetry brought out a different side of my musical persona, which felt good. I was so happy to hear from the women of the chorus that they were thrilled that I was writing them a new piece. How fortunate I am!

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