poetry sings

Artistic Goals

Artistic Goals

Ellen Boscov, photograph by  Amelia Xanthe

Ellen Boscov, photograph by Amelia Xanthe

  1. Green Tree is the first in my series of haunted fairy tale art songs. I have written six additional poems that work well in this series. I’m already singing these poems – that is how I begin to write music. I’d love to work with Carla Dauden to create a video for each of these songs. She has a deep understanding of the material and has the talent to help me realize my vision of the pieces. Collaborating with her on Green Tree was a joy. It was so satisfying to bring different art forms together (classical music, poetry, story, surreal art and film). I feel like the subject matter was fully explored and expressed. This caliber of video is expensive to create. But if there is an audience for my art songs on YouTube, I’ll look into funding a video series.
  2. When I lived in the Bay Area in California (1989-1997), I discovered that I liked to develop my written work through improvisational movement and storytelling. I first learned about this by taking Olivia Corson’s amazing Body Tales course. Through the course, I connected with other performing artist and writers.  A community of artists developed.  We’d regularly witness each other’s improvisational work and attend each other’s productions.

  3. After moving to Pennsylvania, I found ways to occasionally do improvisational work. But I miss the routine and the community. I want Olivia and all my other improvisation buddies to leave California and move to the suburbs of Philadelphia. Since this isn’t going to happen, I’d like to develop a small improvisation group here.

    To better understand what I mean by improvisational movement and storytelling, read this information on Olivia Corson’s class: www.bodytales.com

Note of concern

Why didn’t I put simple straightforward photos of myself up on my website? Why is music growing on trees around me? How come I’m being serenaded by an angel of cello? And what the heck is that bird doing on my hat? I don’t look like the one kid in class who couldn’t carry a tune. I look like Mother Nature hand-picked me to create music. Oh, no! – I’m not demystifying anything.

Please don’t let my photos mislead you. Music is accessible. You don’t have to have a bird sit on your hat to take part in it. Everyone can learn to play an instrument, write music or sing. . . . Aaaah! (I was just stabbed in the back.) Why did I say sing?! Aaaah! (Now arrows are shooting through me.) I can hardly breathe! I’m sweating! Help! Help! Help!

Robots:  Beep, beep, beep.
(Robots surround me.)
Robots:  We are here to help.
No, wait a minute!  What are you doing?
(Robots squish me up and cram me into a little box.)
Oh no! Don’t!
Robots:  Beep, beep, beep.
I can’t get out! I can’t survive in here! Let me out.
Robots:  Beep, beep, beep.

If learning a basic musical skill feels like this, you have the wrong teacher or had the wrong teacher in the past.

Anyone can learn to sing! It isn’t hard to learn how to carry a tune. Aaaaah! (I was just stabbed in the back again.) Sob! It should be painless to learn. A good teacher will refrain from intimidating you with exclusivity and pretense. A good teacher will honor your creative impulses and understand that everyone has the ability to learn and grow. Musical skills are accessible to everyone.

But if I said, I don’t put my heart and soul into composing music, I’d be lying. The magical imagery you see in my photos represents my heart and soul. I’m drawn to magic realism and metaphors because they help me express how I truly feel.

I believe we are divinely connected to the music that came before us. We can hear it, play it and dream of it. When we wake, we can create a new song that is reflective of the old. I believe that when we sing of what is broken and lost inside of us, we find promise. And I believe music is a gift that Mother Nature gave everyone – even me.