C4 is hard at work preparing for our upcoming concert on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. This concert is something special for us. We are collaborating with the Fordham University Voices Up concert series and the Poets Out Loud poetry competition to bring you an evening of music and poetry reading.
The concert will feature the prizewinning volumes of the 2016-2017 competition: Xamissa by Henk Rossouw and Midden by Julia Bouwsma. Both books cast an unflinching eye on troubling histories. We will premiere four new works written by C4 composers on texts from the books, along with readings of those poems.
With so much interesting background to this concert, we wanted to start this blog in order to share some of it. We will use it to post information about the poems, and also about the music that we’ll be doing. Stay tuned for more information!
Xamissa by Henk Rossouw
Xamissa sounds out the city of Cape Town in a joyful elegy for the city of alternate takes. Through serial questions around the ethics of its address, Xamissa probes the interrelation of language, sociality, and resistance, in its bid to interrogate the archive as a draft of the city’s future.Fordham University Press
C4 will premiere settings of two poems from the book: David See’s Elegy for the Gesture and Brian Mountford’s Rearrival. Henk Rossouw, the author, will be on hand to read passages from the book.
Midden by Julia Bouwsma
In 1912 the State of Maine forcibly evicted an interracial community of forty-five people from Malaga Island, a small island off the coast of Maine. The Malaga school was dismantled and rebuilt as a chapel on another island. Seventeen graves were exhumed from the Malaga cemetery, consolidated into five caskets, and reburied at the Maine School for the Feeble Minded. The Malaga community was erased.
Midden confronts the events and over one hundred years of silence that surround this shameful incident in Maine’s history.Fordham University Press
Midden was selected as one of NPR’s great reads for 2018.
C4 will premiere settings of two poems from the book, Bettina Sheppard’s Dear Ghosts and Hilary Purrington’s John Eason Stops Preaching. Julia Bouwsma, the author, will be on hand to read the poems.
Also on the Concert
In addition, the concert will feature four additional works:
- Part Songs by Lawrence Kramer, a collection of text settings from Plato to T.S. Eliot
- So Breaks the Sun, a joyful setting of Ben Jonson by 21-year-old composer Shavon Lloyd
- Blue Phoenix, a moving first-person account by Iraqi artist Esam Pasha of life during the American invasion, set by Kala Pierson
- Octopus, a unfortunately all too timely piece about unwanted sexual contact by powerful men, by Karen Siegel
We are looking forward to an evening of music and poetry.