Our style of programming will delight song enthusiasts with perspectives and insights that they have not heard before, while simultaneously providing a way into this rich and fascinating world for listeners who do not find song immediately approachable.
In our more than twenty years as song recitalists, we have come to realize that those qualities which make song endlessly captivating and beautiful – especially its poetry, full of rich imagery and subtle nuance – are often the very qualities that can be difficult for first-time recital-goers to grasp and enjoy.
Each song contains so much; it shows a different facet each time we view it from a new angle. We use this gem-like property of song as the basis for creating our programmes. When we find a song compelling we turn it every which way in the light, as it were, exploring in detail the images that the music and poetry combine to create. Our exploration often reveals one or two facets of the song which have particularly magical qualities, and this starts us off in a certain direction. The programme then evolves organically, as each added song suggests others to which it might be connected. Rather than grouping songs by composer, poet or language, as in the traditional way of recital programming, we focus on the inner qualities of the songs, linking them together by means of common elements that might not be obvious on first hearing.
Following our thread through the linked sequence of songs leads the audience on a journey, providing waypoints throughout the performance. The theme also creates a synergy, giving each group a life of its own, drawing the listener more deeply into the heart of each song and the group as a whole. This intensifies the experience: the imagery becomes more vivid, the message more personal and the overall impression more lasting.
The Alchemy of Song
Developing this method of programming has taken us on a journey as well. We have found that melting songs down into their constituent elements, seeing what they are “really made of”, allows us to combine them in surprising and delightful ways. The linguistic and stylistic distinctions between the songs evaporate, allowing their more subtle inner truths to reveal themselves.
Always asking ourselves, “What else do we love about this song?” we look for themes that are not immediately obvious. The main subject or story of the poem can supply the theme, of course, but more often it is another element of the song which links so powerfully with other songs. You can browse some of our programme ideas here on the website, or contact us for further proposals and suggestions.