I performed with Jim O’Halloran (flute), Greg Powers (tuba) and Michael Nicolella (guitar) yesterday on a Mother’s Day program at the Mount Baker Community Clubhouse. The new Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken also read and closed the program. The theme was Mothers, of course, but the last poem I read took a different angle on that subject.
Hadiyah Carlyle has asked me to write a paragraph about how Jim and I put our performance together:
Jim and I have been collaborating for over a year. When he got the call to perform at the Mt. Baker Community Clubhouse for their new Harvest The Arts series, he invited me to suggest a poem that we could do on the Mother’s Day program. I have some poems dedicated to the mothers in my life, my Mom and my wife, a new Mother. For collaboration with the full trio, I suggested a poem that, ultimately, honors the sacred mother, the mother of all things. It is (one interpretation) of the title poem from my first book A Time Before Slaughter. The poem is in three parts and after part one, there is a bit of singing that came to me while walking beside the Stuck River in Auburn as I had done many times. I sent Jim a recording of me reading the piece and he created a score utilizing the little melody that I provided. When we rehearsed, I was a little concerned when I saw Greg Powers bring the tuba in the room, but his touch was more evocative of Birth of the Cool than oompah bands and I was very pleased with rehearsal and felt the performance would go well. Here’s a recording of: A Time Before Slaughter.