April 24, 2009
LACO was honored to welcome Carol Muske-Dukes as our special guest speaker on Thursday night in the third event of LACO’s new Westside Connections series. Carol Muske-Dukes is California’s newly-appointed poet laureate, and she captivated the audience with poetry readings of both her own works and of others in order to illustrate links between poetry and music. To complement the musical program, Muske-Dukes read the following poems:
- Sonnet 29 – William Shakespeare
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Pufrock – T.S. Eliot
- Facing It – Komunyakaa
- Some Say – Sappho
- Coral Sea – Carol Muske-Dukes
- Dover Beach – Matthew Arnold
- Passport – Carol Muske-Dukes
- Last Robot Song – Robert Pinsky
- The River Merchant’s Wife – Ezra Pound (translation of Li Po)
- Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare
Muske-Dukes used many of these works to bring out the feelings of inner turbulence and war-time instability which are reflected in the evening’s chamber music pieces. Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach was an especially evocative performance with the mixture of poetry text and music, thanks to the vocal talent of guest artist Christòpheren Nomura.
Overall, the concert was quite a success with wonderful performances and insights. This was the season conclusion of LACO’s inaugural Westside Connections series, and I look forward to returning to this series next year when LACO explores the creativity and inspirations of music and other artistic disciplines!