Poetry Scores and Women in the Arts
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Incantata for Chamber Ensemble
a poetry score
Composed by Barbara Harbach
Poetry by Paul Muldoon
Produced by Chris King
Sunday, October 30, 2011, 3:00PM
Lee Theater Touhill Performing Arts Center
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Incantata for Chamber Ensemble was commissioned by Poetry Scores as a response to Paul Muldoon’s poem, “Incantata,” written in memory of the Irish artist Mary Farl Powers.
The poem, published in The Annals of Chile (1994), is both an elegy and a celebration – or, as Stephen Burt of Harvard University writes in an essay commissioned for this project, both a lament and a dissent from Mary Farl Powers’ fatalistic world view, which led to her decision not to treat her cancer using the techniques of modern medicine.
This performance of the poetry score, conducted by James Richards, is the world premiere of Barbara Harbach’s composition. The musicians are Paula Kasica ( flute), Paul Garritson ( clarinet), Donita Bauer ( bassoon), Mary Schwartzwelder ( horn), Paul Hecht ( trumpet), Alla Voskoboynikova ( piano), Jane Price ( violin), Laura Reycraft ( viola), and Marian Drake ( cello) . Eamonn Wall, an Irish poet and professor of literature at UMSL, is performing Paul Muldoon’s poem at the premiere, as Muldoon (a Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet and professor at Princeton University) is on sabbatical in Ireland.
Introductions: Stefene Russell, Poetry Scores; and Fred Onovwersuoke, composer
Incantata for Chamber Ensemble
1. I thought of you tonight Paul Muldoon
2. Powers Barbara Harbach
3. I thought of you again tonight Paul Muldoon
4. Nocturne Barbara Harbach
5. You must have known already Paul Muldoon
6. Composed of Odds and Ends Barbara Harbach
7. That daft urge to make amends Paul Muldoon
8. Bitter-sweet Barbara Harbach
9. Mary, to anoint and anneal Paul Muldoon
10. Coda Barbara Harbach
Thanks and farewell: Chris King, Poetry Scores, and a special guest from UMSL
Composer’s notes, by Barbara Harbach
I was drawn to the many feelings and emotions in the poem, the cry of heartbreak, enduring love, humor, pathos, giddiness, allusions to music, literature, art, liquor and food. The names of the four movements are taken from a phrase in the poem, as per Poetry Scores’ compositional model.
The first movement, Powers, is a play on Mary Farl Powers’ name, a woman’s powers, the power of nature, and the power of the world. The music begins with a thunderclap sforzando chord followed immediately by agitated murmurings in the cello and viola with two different melodies in the woodwinds, while the piano punctuates the musical fabric percussively. Soon the murmurings and the two melodies start to migrate among the instruments with key and meter changes. A new melody emerges in the winds imitated by the violin, while the piano releases some of the tension by arching arpeggios and scales. Tension returns with murmurings in the lower strings but now the piano joins again with arpeggios and scalar passages. The next section shifts the tensive murmurings to the winds while the horn and trumpet carry the melodies. The three melodies are developed musically and lead to a halt in the rhythmic motion. The bassoon begins a haunting and disjunct melody imitated by the cello. The winds and strings continue with the fugue melody until the eerie murmurings emerge in the flute and viola, ultimately with all the strings and winds playing different melodies. After the instruments drop out, another thunderclap chord leads into the coda with increasing tension, rhythmic motion and intensity ending with the final sforzando chord.
Nocturne opens with night sounds, strange and luminous twitters and chirps from the dark of night eerily portrayed by the woodwinds over open fifths in the strings. The reverie of the night becomes more complex when the piano begins its on melody, and eventually dominates the night sounds. As the piano melody ebbs away, the murmurings of the night again are tranquil. The nocturne theme, a gesture to the Irishman John Field, a composer of nocturnes, is introduced by the violin. The piano picks up the theme followed by a counter theme in the horn. Themes, counter themes, and the sounds of the night intermingle. As dawn approaches, the themes fall silent, and the murmurings of the night gently hush.
Relishing in Irish folk tunes, Composed of Odds and Ends opens with a jig-like rendition of The Humors of Whiskey with the melody in the violin, and grace notes with a drone in the accompaniment. A counter melody joins the jig in the upper woodwinds transplanting the grace notes and drone to the lower strings. The trumpet and horn, eager to enter the discussion, begin with the Liverpool Hornpipe. The next section combines The Humors of Whiskey and its counter theme with a new theme in the flute. Next, the clarinet is insistent on playing its own tune, Banshee, now accompanied by the Liverpool Hornpipe. A more somber and poignant air opens with the viola, For Ireland, I’d Not Tell her Name, of course generating its own counter melody. The woodwinds take up the tunes and barely finish before the horn and trumpet with the grace notes and drone accompaniment change the mood leading to 6/8 meter imposed over 4/4 meter with the ebullient themes and counter themes racing each other to the double bar.
Bitter-Sweet rails against the inevitable before acquiescing, while moments of tenderness lead to the eventual wholeness of spirit. The piano opens with edgy tension, as a scrap of a theme begins the ostinato in the bassoon. Other instruments chime in on the theme until the trumpet erupts with its on theme demanding and growing with intensity, culminating in crashing chords. The cello now begins a mournful, rising fugue theme, followed by the bassoon, violin, and clarinet utterings, until the piano enters with a sweet and delicate theme of remembrance. Woodwinds take up this lush theme, and before coming to a close, the piano softly begins to insert its bitter, edgy tension. A final fugue begins, combines with the piano melody until all instruments become agitated ending with the triumph of the spirit able to survive.
On “Incantata,” by Stephen Burt
During the early 1980s Paul Muldoon kept up a tumultuous romance with the Irish artist Mary Farl Powers, known for her colorful and disturbing prints of curvy, biomorphic forms. Powers died in 1992 from cancer she refused to treat by conventional means. “Incantata” (1994) is his memorial to her; it is also his longest non-narrative poem. Acclaimed as raw, intimate, vulnerable, compared to his cannier, more guarded norm, “Incantata” nonetheless harbors the intricate patterns and puzzles his readers expect: those patterns make the poem not just a lament, but a dissent from Powers’ own fatalism, and from any larger moral claims about patterns that we might find in the world.
For all its complex details and allusions, the poem breaks neatly in two: the first 23 stanzas, each a complete sentence, follow anecdotes and memories from the years of their romance through to the months of her illness – almost, but not quite, a life story. The last 20 stanzas, though each one concludes with a period, belong grammatically to a single, overextended sentence beginning “That’s all.” The long catalog of things lost, of lines starting with “of,” modulates into the doubly negated comparisons (“from which we can no more deviate // than that … than that … than that”) among which the poem ends. The two parts suggest a division between life, with all its variety, and death, which unites everybody and everything. Where Powers insisted, with Beckett, on fatality, Muldoon insists as well on randomness, on the unpredictability that remains for us, in this world, as long as we live.
Muldoon’s rhymes are typically unpredictable: in the first stanza, “barrow” (a trench or grave, not a wheelbarrow) rhymes with “Herrera,” “Inca” with “pink,” and “nautilus” with the Irish hero-god Lugh. Muldoon takes his stanza (rhymed aabbcddc) from W. B. Yeats, who used it for his gravely ambivalent elegy “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory” and again in “A Prayer for My Daughter." (The Irish a leanbh means literally “my child.”) Yeats’s poem “All Things Can Tempt Me” pursues his dual compulsion to keep writing, and to cease “this accustomed toil,” “this craft of verse”: when young, as Muldoon and Powers were once young, the poet sought vivid inspiration, but “would be now, could I but have my wish, / Colder and deafer and dumber than a fish.”
This first in a bevy of quotations and allusions set Powers up in a national tradition, one that becomes international fast. Yeats gives place to Beckett, the expatriate who settled in France, whose art of repetition and reduction can seem both fatalist and materialist, reminding us that all atoms reach the same end. In such a cosmos geantrai and suantrai, “love songs” and “lullabies,” are similarly temporary consolations. “In everything there is an order,” but that order has little to recommend it: sexual adventure ends in a ditch, all life in one or another barrow, and Christian resurrection is at best as remote as the metamorphoses of insects. The Book of Kells and the “High Cross at Carndonagh,” representatives of old Irish piety, are at best overfamiliar, at worst tourist kitsch.
On the other hand, they have survived. Powers and her mother, working together on one of her last lithographs, enact at once the secular promise that art can survive, and the also secular promise of generational succession. Powers, however, died childless, so that she can survive only in memories or in her art, an art full of worms, of travesties (like Beckett’s immobilized characters) of the human speaking form. Perhaps all art is “a potato-mouth in a potato-face,” a vegetable form that says nothing of its own.
The talking potatoes, the marauding worms, the other reminders of violence and decay, from the Irish troubles to the “submerged” towns destroyed by the Quabbin reservoir, anticipate the claim that seems to govern the second half of the poem, the claim that death makes everybody alike, turns all nouns and all names to “quaquaqua” or “quoiquoiquoi,” “what what what” (with an overtone of “why why why?”). It is a claim that the fatalistic Powers, in her illness, appeared to accept (though she pursued her herbal remedies), and a claim that the energies of Muldoon’s cascading phrases defy. His first defiance falls flat: “art… builds from pain, from misery … a monument to the human heart / that shines like a golden dome.” Such architectural, impersonal survivals, associated with public works and with institutional religion (the Golden Dome of Constantinople, or Istanbul) seem brassy, insincere, impersonal, closer to late-1930s Auden than to the oddities that we expect from Muldoon.
And so the poem grows odd again. Muldoon restates Powers’s own materialism (“nothing over / and above the sky itself, nothing but cloud-cover”), which he shares, and her fatalism (“nothing’s arbitrary”), which he does not share. He feints towards it nonetheless as he introduces his chain of repetitions, his epochal final sentence: “That’s all that’s left….” He will not come to a grammatical closure for 160 more lines.
The story of a life, which must come to an end, has turned into a list, which need not end at any particular point. This list sorts memories, and it seeks variety, in its use of the bodily senses (andouille, “the Cathedral at Rouen,” Calvados, Vivaldi) and also a variety of emotion, from “self-reproach” to sexual satiety. Its exuberance, “all composed of odds and ends,” seeks a centrifugal force, an unpredictable variety, to set against the centripetal pull of the syntax, and of the central fact, Powers’ death. “That daft urge to make amends / when it’s far too late” joins the catalog too, foreshadowing the final, more emotionally various, stanzas in which Powers’ father (the fiction writer J. F. Powers) visits her “sickroom,” where “of … of … of” gives way to “no more than ... than … than that,” where properties from the opening lines return.
Muldoon takes this chance to dissent again from Powers’ fatalistic cosmology, this time without making grandiose claims for art: “that’s all that’s left ... of the furrows from which we can no more deviate … than that we must live in a vale / of tears,” “than what we have is a done deal.” We all die – no divine “herbarium” can help that – but we are not destined to die at such and such time, nor in such and such way. Political violence, cancer and even floods (like the one that created the Quabbin) may all arise from some mix of natural law, blind chance and human endeavor, the same combination that generates the tangled wonders in the Book of Kells, in Powers’ potato-prints and lithographs, in Muldoon’s poem.
The bravura ending encompasses chiasmus after chiasmus: the cddc rhyme, the anagrammatic “row / of … worms,” the “ink-stained hands … hands stained with ink,” and the pairs of hands (Muldoon’s, Powers’, Powers’, Wahl’s) that span almost the entire poem, though now these hands can join “no more.” (The Irish language in the final line repeats, in Irish, the beautiful names of the ineffectual herbs.) The last stanza uses the same rhyming sounds as the first, reversed: aabbcddc becomes ddccbaab, “barrow” and “Herrera” (the initial a rhymes) mapped onto “row” and “arrah.” The same transformation occurs throughout the poem: the second-to-last stanza reuses rhymes from the second (“arm” and “worms” corresponding to “Hermes” and “herbarium") and so on; the middle stanza, to which the whole pattern must point, includes the Beckettian meaninglessness of "acacacac." (Several critics, such as Iain Twiddy, examine this pattern at length.)
If there is a hidden pattern built into our lives, it must be a pattern as absurd, playful, apparently arbitrary, and hard to detect as this skein of off-rhymes: a pattern that tells us only about itself. Muldoon remains sad, and he still wants to hold her hand: his poem has not brought in the doctrinal, nor the emotional, consolation of older and more famous elegies. Instead, that last line, with its heartbreaking counterfactual, tells us what Muldoon’s poem has accomplished. Into the welter, the quiddities, of all these memories, the poet has brought an appreciation, an ironic ornament, a colorful resistance to the monochrome of fate, an order not found in nature, but made by hands.
© 2011 Stephen Burt. Commissioned by Poetry Scores.
Producer’s notes, by Chris King
A “poetry score” is a long poem set to music as one one would score a film. Though musicians have been setting poetry to music as long as there has been poetry and music, our attention specifically to the long poem and our codification of a few rules for this work have led us to fancy we have innovated a new form. Incantata is the 6 th poetry score produced by Poetry Scores, and the first time we commissioned a work by an outside composer, the amazing Barbara Harbach. It also is the first time we have produced a work in the modern classical idiom, with our previous scores varying between rock, jazz, folk forms and experimental music.
Poetry Scores itself is an all-volunteer St. Louis-based arts organization that translates poetry into other media. In addition to the musical scores, we also curate an annual Art Invitational based on the poem we are scoring that year, and then go back and produce feature-length silent movies to our poetry scores. We have commissioned artists and craftsmen to translate poetry into other artifacts such as clothing and beer and are open to collaboration with people who love poetry working in any medium.
The Art Invitational to Incantata, where more than 50 artists from St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Boston, New York and Istanbul respond to Paul Muldoon’s poem, will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday, November 11, 2001 at Mad Art Gallery, 2727 So.2th St. in Soulard. We also auction off the art as our major annual fundraiser. Proceeds from this year’s Invitational will be used to produce a CD of the Incantata score by Barbara Harbach and Paul Muldoon.
For more information, visit www.poetryscores.blogspot.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barbara Harbach has a large catalog of works, including symphonies, opera, string orchestra, musicals, works for chamber ensembles, film scores, modern ballets, organ, harpsichord, piano, choral anthems, and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works. She is also involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of eighteenth-century keyboard composers as well as historical and contemporary women composers. Her work is available in both recorded and published form through MSR Classics, Naxos Records, Gasparo Records, Kingdom Records, Albany Records, Northeastern Records, Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Agape Music and Vivace Press. Harbach is also the editor of the journal, Women of Note Quarterly.
“Harbach’s music astonished me for its heavy reliance on the lyric and the beautifully (and cogently) framed melodic line. I could listen to her music for hours.” American Record Guide ~ March / April 2008. “ Harbach has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent American composers of any generation.” All Music Guide ~ December 2007.
In June, 2009, her musical, Booth! was premiered at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City where it won a competition at the Tisch School of the Arts. O Pioneers! – an American Opera was premiered in October, 2009, at the University of Missorui-St. Louis in the Touhill Performing Arts Center. “OPioneers! is an excellent opera that was admirably performed by the lead players and a fine chorus.” St. Louis Classical Music Examiner ~ October 2009.
Harbach has toured extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist and her lively performances and recordings have captured the imagination of many American composers, and the body of work written for and dedicated to Harbach is substantial. Musical America has called her “nothing short of brilliant,” and Gramophone has cited her as an “acknowledged interpreter – and, indeed, muse – of modern harpsichord music.” She was host of the weekly television music series Palouse Performance seen throughout the Inland Northwest.
Currently professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she holds academic degrees from Pennsylvania State University (B.A.), Yale University (M.M.A.), Musikhochschule (Konzertdiplom) in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). In 2002, Harbach received an honorary doctorate in music, honoris causa, from Wilmington College, Ohio for her lifetime achievement as a composer, performer, editor and publisher.
Barbara Harbach initiated Women in the Arts-St. Louis, a celebration of the achievements of women creators. The over 800 events by various cultural organizations in the St. Louis region provided audiences with new and historical examples of the work of women writers, composers and artists. In 2006 for her work Women in the Arts-St. Louis she was the recipient of the Arts Education Award from the Missouri Arts Council; the Missouri Citizen for the Arts Award; the Yellow rose Award from the Zonta International Club of St. Louis; the UM-St. Louis College of Fine Arts and Communication, Faculty Excellence Award; and in 2007 she was awarded the Hellenic Spirit Foundation Award. In May of 2011, she was awarded the Grand Center Award for “successful working artist.”
Dr. James Richards, Conductor
James Richards serves as interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Richards held the positions of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the College and Chair of the Department of Music. He is a member of the 2005 class of the University of Missouri Leadership Development Program of the President’s Academic Leadership Institute. Dr. Richards holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and degrees in orchestral conducting and music theory, as well as a Performer's Certificate in Violin, from the University of Texas at Austin. He studied orchestral and opera conducting with Walter Ducloux, Paul Vermel, and Gustav Meier, and participated in the Conductor's Program of the Aspen Music Festival.
Jane Price, Violin
Jane Price grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers have included James Buswell, Paul Biss, Yuval Yaron and Eugene Lehner. She has been an extra member of the Chicago Symphony, with whom she has toured internationally since 1994, and the St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis Opera Theater since 1996. As a chamber musician, Jane has collaborated with members of the Cleveland Quartet, the New York Woodwind Quintet, and the Mark Morris Dance Company. Jane was a fellow at the Tanglewood Institute, the Norfolk Festival, the Spoleto festival in Italy and the United States, and spent one year as a member of the New World Symphony. Jane was an faculty member of Arts for the Soul in the 2005 season.
Laura Reycraft, Viola
Laura Reycraft, viola, received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music in 2003 as a student of Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey. In 2005 she earned her Master of Music diploma from the University of Maryland where she studied viola with Daniel Foster and Michael Tree and Suzuki
violin pedagogy with Ronda Cole. Laura has participated in several music festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Sarasota Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Ms. Reycraft has played as a substitute with the National Symphony Orchestra and is currently a regular substitute with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and an active freelancer in the St. Louis area. In addition to maintaining a private studio, Ms. Reycraft teaches at the Community Music School of Webster University and is the Suzuki violin teacher at City Academy. She is a founding member and Artistic Director of Chamber Project Saint Louis.
Alla Voskoboynikova, Piano
Alla Voskoboynikova has held the position of Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis since 2004. She extensively performs and collaborates with area musicians and regularly accompanies and coaches for the Union Avenue Opera Company as well as Webster University in St. Louis.
Before moving to the United States in 1996, Alla was a pianist and vocal coach at the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theater in Ukraine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Music College in Voronezh, Russia and her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Gnessins Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. Her teachers were Oleg Milman and Lina Bulatova (student of Elena Gnessina and Henry Neihaus). Alla was an accompanist in the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1996 and has performed solo recitals along with chamber music in several European countries.
Since moving to the United States, Alla has collaborated performing chamber music with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra members including concert master David Halen, violin, Heidi Harris, violin, John Sant' Ambrogio, cello, Darwyn Apple, violin, Saveliy Shuster, cello, and the STLSO Trombones . In 1998, she performed at Carnegie Recital Hall with flautist Brenda Hagni and in 2002, Alla performed Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the Voronezh Philharmonic Orchestra and Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Webster University Symphony Orchestra. In February 2004, Alla was the Russian coach for the Saint Louis Symphony performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky and coached the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus for the performance of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vespers in November 2006. As a member of a duo, Alla performed John Adams’s Halleluiah Junction with pianist Orli Shaham in 2008. In the several past years Alla has organized a series of thematic chamber music recitals, including a commemoration of Dmitri Shostakovich's 100-year anniversary, a commemoration of Felix Mendelssohn's 200-year anniversary , piano and winds recitals and others.
Alla resides in St. Louis with her husband Ilya Litvin, Russian born trumpet player and teacher and their son, Boris.
Paul Hecht, Trumpet
Mary Swartzwelder, Horn
Mary Swartzwelder earned a Bachelor of Music degree with honors in horn performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1986. She was a student of then principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra, Richard Solis. While at CIM, Mary attended the Blossom Summer Chamber Music Festival on a full scholarship. Upon graduation, Mary returned to her hometown of Buffalo, NY and became an extra with the Buffalo Philharmonic. She served in this position for 17 years, performing for such conductors as: Semyon Bychov, Max Valdez, Christopher Keene, Doc Severinsen, and Joann Falletta. She performed Mahler’s Sixth Symphony with the Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall in February of 1988. She was acting Second Horn of the Philharmonic for two seasons. Mary was also a member of the pit orchestras at Artpark, Shea’s Performing Art Center and the Greater Buffalo Opera Company. She also was appointed Assistant Principal Horn of the Erie, PA Philharmonic. Mary moved to the St. Louis area with her husband and three children in 2003. She has performed with various groups, including at the: Fox Theater, Union Avenue Opera, Touhill Performing Arts Center, Webster University, UMSL, the Cathedral Basilica and other venues. Mary also teaches private French horn lessons in her home.
Donita Bauer, Bassoon
Born and raised in Iowa, Donita Bauer began her musical studies on piano at age 5 and bassoon at age 7. She received her Bachelors degree from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, and a Master's degree in bassoon performance from the St. Louis Conservatory studying with George Berry and Robert Wisneskey. Upon graduation, Donita served as principal bassoon with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico in Toluca, Mexico, the Philharmonic Orchestra of St Louis, and served as replacement player with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra. Presently, Donita is principal bassoonist with Union Avenue Opera, Bach Society, Masterworks Chorale, Webster University Symphony Orchestra and Equinox Chamber Players. An extra player with the Saint Louis Symphony, other freelance engagements in the St. Louis area include Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis, A Perfect Fifth Woodwind Quintet, American Cantorei, Webster Opera Orchestra, Washington University Opera and the University of Missouri-St Louis Orchestra. She has recorded with the St. Louis Symphony, Equinox Chamber Players and The Poor People of Paris. Active in the teaching field through private instruction, Donita serves on the faculties at the Community Music School of Webster University, OASIS, and is currently the Director of Music at Evangelical United Church of Christ in Webster Groves.
Paul Garritson, Clarinet
Paul Garritson has been a member of the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia since 1986 as professor of clarinet. He completed degree work at both the University of California-Berkeley, and at Yale University. He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the St. Louis Symphony, the New Haven Symphony, the Orchestra of New England, the State Ballet of Missouri and for a number of years, was principal of the Gateway Festival Orchestra in St. Louis, with which he has soloed on several occasions. In addition, Garritson performed last year in China as soloist with the University of Missouri-Columbia Wind Ensemble. He has twice performed as soloist at the annual meeting of the International Clarinet Society and the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium.
Paul is a member of the Missouri Quintet, an ensemble-in-residence at MU, which made its Carnegie Recital Hall debut and performs both in the United States and abroad. In a CD release of the Missouri Quintet on which several works for winds by composer David Maslanka were recorded, American Record Guide made note of Professor Garritson's performance of the unaccompanied work Little Symphony, stating, "[he] executes his part to perfection with a reading that is full of nuance and insight."
Paula Kasica, Flute
Paula Kasica received her Bachelor of Music from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. Her teachers have included Jacob Berg, Julius Baker and Gerald Carey. Paula was the top prizewinner at the Julius Baker New York Masterclass in 1978. Paula has appeared as soloist with several symphonies and performs throughout the area in many capacities. She plays as an extra with the Saint Louis Symphony and is a member of the Equinox Chamber Players. She has performed with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Aspen Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Fox Theatre Orchestra, and plays Principal flute with the Webster Symphony, the Ballet Orchestra of Saint Louis and the Bach at the Seminary Series. Ms.Kasica has been on the faculty of the Masterworks Festival and Christian Performing Arts Fellowship since 1997. She is also an adjunct flute instructor at Webster University and UM-St Louis She has recorded with Hosanna Music, New Earth Productions, and Restoration Arts. She most recently recorded an improvisatory worship CD called Breath of God which is being distributed by Integrity Europe. Paula, along with her husband John, percussionist with the Saint Louis Symphony, perform around the country as WINDFIRE: Flute & Percussion Spectacular. They have also traveled to Brazil and Great Britain to perform. In 2006 they won the National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition.
Marian Drake teaches cello and free lances in the St. Louis area with such groups as the STL Symphony, St. Louis Chamber Orchestra, the Clayton Trio, and the Rosewood Ensemble.
Dr. Eamonn Wall
A native of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, Eamonn Wall has lived in the US since 1982. He was educated at University College Dublin, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the City University of New York, where he received his Ph.D. in English. He is the author of five collections of poetry: A Tour of Your Country (2008), Refuge at De Soto Bend (2004), The Crosses (2000), Iron Mountain Road (1997), and Dyckman-200th Street (1994), all published by Salmon Publishing in Ireland. A new volume Sailing Lake Mareotis, will be published in 2011.
From the Sin-e Café to the Black Hills , a collection of essays, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2000 and awarded the Michael J. Durkan Prize by the American Conference for Irish Studies for excellence in scholarship. Writing the Irish West: Ecologies and Traditions was published by the University of Notre Dame Press this year.
Essays, articles, and reviews of Irish, Irish American, and American writers have appeared inThe Irish Times, New Hibernia Review, Irish Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, South Carolina Review, An Sionnach, and other journals.
Eamonn Wall lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and is Smurfit-Stone Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Chris King, Poetry Scores
Chris King is co-founder and creative director of Poetry Scores, a St. Louis-based arts organization dedicated to translating poetry into other media. Incantata is the sixth poetry score -- a long poem set to music as one would score a film -- he has produced for Poetry Scores. Previous music production credits include the jump blues legend Rosco Gordon, and currently he is producing the first boxed set of Bascom Lamar Lunsford for Smithsonian/Folkways. He also has directed one Poetry Scores feature movie, Blind Cat Black, and the second feature movie is in production. Poetry Scores projects have been featured on the BBC, Turkish national television, and in many national and regional publications in the U.S. His background is in rock music, as songwriter and bandleader with the bands Enormous Richard and Eleanor Roosevelt. He earns a living as a journalist.