Music Inspired by Literature

22 Feb

Yesterday, I got a sneak peek at a song Sean Morse is writing in response to Daughters of the Air for Word Play: Original Music inspired by Seattle7Writers. The theme of the concert (happening on March 2 at Hugo House) is “Transformations,” which is certainly fitting for the metamorphoses in my novel. But it’s also super cool to experience a transformation of one art form to another. And what a honor to have one’s own work transformed!

I’ve long used visual art as inspiration for my writing. I’ve also reflected upon writing in response to music and dance. Whenever I’m stuck in my writing taking in another form helps. (Long walks also help, almost always.) Hearing Sean’s concepts and interpretations gave a whole other dimension to the difficult mother-daughter relationship in my book, and the larger societal problem of looking away from atrocity. I’m looking forward to sharing a link to all the songs once they’re recorded—Sean’s has been looping in my head all day today!

And, I’m excited to hear songs from the rest of the Bushwick Book Club, which is such a neat organization that has put on numerous concerts launching from classics, new releases, the Jack Straw Writers Program, and the like. Several years ago, The Furnace partnered with BBC and Bradford Loomis wrote a beautiful song in response to my short story “More Like Home Than Home” which is now on his album Banner Days.

So, on March 2, Sean Morse, Alex Guy and Joy Mills will perform music inspired by Daughters of the Air. Wes Weddell, Simon Kornelis, and Reggie Garrett will perform music inspired by Michael Schmelter‘s book of poetry Blood Song. And, Amanda Winterhalter, Nottingham/Wicks, and Nessa Grasing will perform music inspired by Laurie Frankel‘s novel This is How it Always Is.

Hearing all of these transformations live will be a real treat. If you’re in Seattle, I hope you can make it! Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit STYLE: Songwriting Through Youth Literature Education.

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