A Spindrift Commissioning Guild Project for 2007

Art-Poem-Music: Body and Soul

About the project

An exciting opportunity arose for me when poet Elizabeth Kirschner contacted me about collaboration. She enjoys working with composers and her combining of human and nature imagery really appealed to me, so it seemed a natural to do a project together. The right project appeared when artist Sirarpi Walzer was scheduling concerts and readings for the Depot Square Gallery here in Lexington, MA. She plans all the events there, but for her own art exhibition in February, there was an opportunity to connect music and words with her art. The exhibition is titled "Body and Soul".

Elizabeth began writing poems as she studied Sirarpi's paintings and mixed media work. Then I began writing songs. There is no piano at Depot Square, so the orchestration for the first set of songs is voice and string trio. It's underway now and time is short! (Jan 2007)

Art by Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer

The first six songs, Volume 1, are Touch and Believe, Grace, The Death Drums, Each Stitch, Shattered Sunflowers, and The Grief Tree. They are for mezzo, violin, viola, and cello.

After the first six songs, premiered on Feb 2, 2007, I started right away on the next three, for soprano, flute, cello and piano. They are: Mulched by Moonlight, O Trill, and The Lost Roots.

I've also set several poems for reader and semi-improvised ensemble. I don't know whether I'll also set those poems for singer, or have a mix of spoken and sung for the final result.

Volume 2 has been performed twice (see below). Check out photos from the Feb 29 concert.

Photo Gallery from the Feb 29 2008 concert

Artwork by Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer

About the artists

Art of Sirarpi Walzer at swalzer.com (shown at right)
Biography of Elizabeth Kirschner
Biography of Pamela Marshall

Depot Square Gallery

Newsletter and poster (pdf)

Body and Soul in concert

Initial events at Depot Square Gallery

January 30 through February 25, 2007 Body and Soul solo art exhibition by Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer

Friday February 2, 2007 7:30 Art-Poem-Music: Body and Soul concert/reading presented by Pamela Marshall and Elizabeth Kirschner. This concert presented the six songs of Volume 1. Performers include Miranda Loud, mezzo-soprano; Melissa Howe, violin; Ken Stalberg, viola; Joan Esch, cello

Sunday February 4, 2007 2-4pm Opening reception for Body and Soul art exhibition

More events

March 29, 2007 Body and Soul Volume 2 at Andover Newton Theological School, part of the exhibition WomenWatch: A Passage to Hope. Performers were Jodi Hitzhusen, soprano; Lisa Conley, flute; Jing Li, cello with the composer at the keyboard.

Rehearsal photosFebruary 29, 2008 - Art-Poem-Music Project concert Concord, MA; Body and Soul Volume 2 in concert February 29, 2008, with several Poetry-Inspired solos on the program too. Performers: Jodi Hitzhusen, soprano; Susan Jackson, flute; Jing Li, cello; Karen Sauer, piano

Photos from the Feb 29 concert

May 16, 2008 - Art-Poem-Music on the First Parish Summer Series Friday at noon; Body and Soul Volume 2 Performers: Jodi Hitzhusen, soprano; Susan Caplan, flute; TBA, cello; Karen Sauer, piano

May 2009 - IAWM Search for New Music, Miriam Gideon Prize, awards Honorable Mention for Body and Soul Vol.2. Download the IAWM press release.

May 27, 2009 - Jodi Hitzhusen joins performers at Univ. of North Carolina Greensboro to sing Body and Soul Vol.2 at FTM10.    Photos on Facebook

Concert postcard

MP3 samples from the
Feb 2008 concert

Mulched by Moonlight

O Trill

The Lost Roots

Performers are Jodi Hitzhusen, soprano; Susan Jackson, flute; Jing Li, cello; Karen Sauer, piano.

Guild Members and Supporters

The following friends and supporters have contributed to support Art-Poem-Music: Body and Soul:

The following businesses supported our first concert on February 2, 2007:

Progress Reports

Comments while composing the initial volume of six songs:


Join the project

There will be at least two more volumes of songs for Body and Soul. Consider sponsoring the creation of this work or a concert.

There are many expenses involved with a concert and exhibition, in addition to any income the creators might hope for. Costs include performers, materials, publicity, recording, etc. We invite you to join the Guild to support the creation and presentation of Art-Poem-Music: Body and Soul.

You can join online with Paypal or send a check.

Dollars and benefits  The suggested amount is $25, and you can choose to receive a CD or a downloadable mp3 of the performance (with performers' permission). You can also choose to have a PDF file of the music emailed to you after the premiere. If you would like a printed score and parts, please consider a contribution amount of at least $50.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call, write or email (contact info).

Click the button to sponsor this project via Paypal
In the message to seller textbox, tell me the wording for your acknowledgement in public recognition of commissioners. Typically it's your own name, but you can specify Anonymous or a tribute to someone else. I'll send you email to ask which benefits you'd like.

Pay by check  Send your check with this Guild membership form (a PDF file that you can print).