My collaboration with Zephyr began six years ago when I organized for the Quartet came to play at Woodcroft Primary where I was a music teacher at the time. They were to play a beautiful sufi piece and I thought it would be nice to invite ex-patriate Iraqi poet Yahia Al-Samawy (he had a daughter at the school) to hear some Middle Eastern music sensitively played. Yahia was moved to tears and so moved were the Zephyr girls that they invited both of us to collaborate in an upcoming venture where they composed and played original pieces inspired by our poems. Mine was dunes. We performed it publicly together twice, although I’m sure it’s been played by Zephyr many more times without me.
Over subsequent years we all said ‘let’s work together again some time’ and from time to time I’d send the odd poem to Belinda Gehlert.
Fast-forward to 2012 when Bel wrote a beautiful piece inspired by Victoria’s Ewen Ponds, sent an mp3 of it to me in Japan and asked if I could write a poem. I said I couldn’t really write about her experience but that we’d just visited an amazing lake in the Japanese Alps and would that do? It did.
So now we have The Water Trilogy; dunes, Shearwaters (written after seeing mutton birds flying home to ‘roost’ in the dunes near Strachan, Tasmania) and Yama / reflecting written in Japan. All three are printed in the booklet insert for Zephyr’s latest CD A Rain from the Shadows and all three musical compositions are by Belinda.
Rain from the Shadows takes its title from a poem by another poet mate Mike Ladd. There are also works inspired by Yahia, Gary Soto, Nicki Bloom and Finegan Kruckemeyer.
Mike and I will be performing on the Thursday night (21/2.)
Hilary (artistic director & cellist) Kleinig will be interviewed with me on FM 101.5 Radio Adelaide’s ArtsBreakfast Show with Cath Kenneally at 9am on Saturday 16th.
Jen (Zephyr publicity) and I will also do an interview/ promo on Triple D’s Arts Show on Monday night around 7:30.
I’d love to see some friendly faces at the launch. If you can’t make it, you’ll get one free tune & one free interview on Radio Adelaide or tripleD!