How do you approach putting music to words? Ronald Perera

Ronald PereraPhoto by M. Richard Fish, photographer, Smith College Most composers of vocal music, whether they are composing songs, chamber music with voice, or opera or music theater, are setting to music words that are not their own. My own approach is, in effect, to make another’s words my own. That is, in choosing a […]

How do you approach putting music to words? Gwyneth Walker

Gwyneth WalkerPhoto by Christian Wideawake When I set poetry to music, I focus on the central images in the poem. To me, poetry is not words. It is the images that the words create. And thus, with the musical setting, it is important that the images in the poetry translate into musical imagery. Often, the […]

How do you approach putting music to words? Sasha Matson

Sasha Matson Composers who write their own lyrics and libretti are a stand-alone breed. Irving Berlin? Wagner? If you are one of those, then go ahead on! The rest of us need a good writer, either six feet under or above ground. My first rule of thumb: you’ve really got to love and relate on […]

How do you approach putting music to words? Language Removal Services

Language Removal Services Many people would say, not altogether erroneously, that our approach to setting words to music is rather heavy-handed; we just get rid of them. But, instead, I would characterize what we do as the process of finding the music within, inside, and underneath the words themselves. We take for granted that there […]

How do you approach putting music to words? Corey Dargel

Corey DargelPhoto by Tei Blow Some composers believe that they can “interpret” a poem by setting it to music. They assume that the reader/listener must be guided through the poem and directed toward a certain emotional response in order to appreciate the words. This approach follows an established, Euro-centric hierarchy, in which the composer assumes […]

View from New York: J@LC – Notice Something Missing?

Monique BuzzartéPhoto by Kaia Means Is jazz so low-status that what would be unthinkable at the New York Philharmonic goes unnoticed in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra? After all, both ensembles are acknowledged as being among the finest in their genre. Both are resident companies of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Both receive considerable […]

View from the West: Whither Text-Sound Composition?

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki From time to time, starting as early as the mid-1960s, perhaps earlier, there have been flurries of activity in the world of text-sound composition or sound poetry among composers, but it seems that new work has dropped off in recent years, or at least there seems to be a void […]

View From The East: Blinded by Prestige

Greg Sandow Not long ago I heard the Cleveland Orchestra play a Harrison Birtwistle piece in Carnegie Hall. This was a New York premiere, with an enticing title, The Shadow of Night, and I didn’t care for it, which maybe doesn’t matter—in searching for Birtwistle on the Web, I found some short pieces on the […]

Boom Times for the Art Song: A HyperHistory of Poetry and Music

Johanna Keller “New York has always been a hotbed of new things going on and right now it’s the song. I think we’re having a little golden age here. Or maybe it’s a big golden age!” -Tobias Picker In case you haven’t heard, there is an art song renaissance happening in New York City. From […]