February Updates + Recommendations

I spent a fantastic evening in Brooklyn earlier this month, sitting on a panel of other self-published women at a Book Swap Party hosted by friend and fellow writer Lana C. Marilyn. We spoke about theme, style, honesty, and process in everything from poetry and confessional writing to our personal lives.

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Photo credit: Lana

I’ve challenged myself to write a piece (or complete movement, arrangement, etc.) every day from mid-January to mid-May, which will result in 140 pieces and hopefully expand my technique and voice. In this vein, I’ve begun work on 78 variations on a theme by Beethoven for woodblock (to follow up on a joke that I maintain is still quite funny) and a string quartet arrangement of Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, and I’m continuing my work on the Dream Palace pieces, the newest of which, ‘nuit,’ can be found here.

I’ve also started work on a cohesive project involving both my composition and poetry, about which I won’t give details quite yet. As a preview, however, listen to my tribute to John Glenn, “Godspeed, John Glenn”, an electronic piece which utilizes Mercury-Atlas 6 mission recordings and is based on Glenn’s heartbeat. Also read “On Living” by Nazim Hikmet.

My recommendations for the start of the year:

  • My darling friend Najia Khaled has released “Dough Re Mi,” a fabulous “kitchen folk” EP that utilizes only kitchen implements and her lovely voice. Available to purchase and stream at the link.
  • “strength,” an EP by disconnect red, also a dear friend, is an incandescent set of a capella songs that plays with mode with a startling rawness. Steam “fragility” here.
  • The aforementioned Lana released her debut book, “Wet Sand in an Hourglass: a self portrait in words,” last year and I’ve been taking my time reading it. The book is a deliberate memoir, both intricate and exhilarating in its tone and narrative.

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