Hello everyone, and Happy Winter Solstice (to my northern hemisphere friends) ⛄️. To kick off this winter, I have interviewed David whose a talented musician AND poet and the author of “I Never Saw the Spring Because I Died in Winter.”
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So, first thing’s first, David: What inspired you to start creating?
In collaboration with a friend, we thought about doing a memorial concert for Holocaust victims (I am a composer and sometimes I write artsongs – works for voice and other instruments that are presented in concert settings). I’ve always used other poets for the text we use in this type of music art, but I had the thought of writing narratives of different characters that would have experienced the Holocaust. I sketched out my first poem and sought out another poet to try and compose more lines in a similar fashion… when she sent me things that didn’t seem right to me, I’d send samples back showing what I was thinking.
After a while, I had a complete poem written, and did not need someone to write it for me. So, everything just seemed to come together as I narrated the music in my mind into poetic text (until I had a complete set of poems).
Those artsongs sound beautiful. Who are your biggest creative influences to date?
For poetry/writing, I have none (at least I don’t consider anyone a master or subject for emulation). I do have an obsession with Christina Rossetti (and have used her poems a lot in my own music). Recently, I’ve also been reading a lot of Shelley and Poe… well, and I’m reading/absorbing “300 Tang Poems.”
If you check in another month, that list would be completely different. The most influential writer on me (but in no way influencing my style) would be Loren Eiseley (esp. ‘Star Thrower’ or ‘Night Country’).
I totally understand. My influences change from week to week as well 😆. What are your favorite poets and artists and why?
Being a musician, I love the poetry of Rossetti, Dickinson, Ai (Ogawa) because their poems fit well with what I like to do as a musician. I like to think of art (whether music, visual art, written) as a benefit for the observer. If I feel I need perspective – I can seek out art that would fuel that notion (and whether I find what I am looking for or not) I will get a pleasant surprise in the journey – hopefully finding something new and unique along the way.
That makes perfect sense. I appreciate your perspective. What advice would you give to other artists?
Find your inner voice, shut up and listen. Don’t let any prejudice or criticism convince you to not speak out artistically. Always look/experience new things with an open mind and unlimited perspective. Keep working, don’t stop… when you work, others will show up on your pathway and make the journey so much more worth it.
What excellent advice. Thank you for that! What are the primary topics you cover in your book?
In “I Never Saw Spring, Because I Died in Winter,” there are multiple characters, all of them are children. Each of these children experience horrible things, but in those horrible events they maintain innocence and love, even up to the point that their lives end. It is a serious work. Most of the poems focus on the relationships experienced between parents and child.
Serious indeed, but also profound. What are some of your upcoming projects?
I have a new album being released in January 2019, and it is titled ‘Looking for Utopia.’ The album features myself on piano/synthesizer and other artists on flute and cello. In addition, I am currently compiling narrations of all military casualties during the Vietnam War (which will be used in a new work for Concert Band and electronics).
Sounds like you’re keeping busy! I wish you the best best in all your ventures, whether musical or poetic. It was nice chatting with you! 🙂
Thank you for the opportunity to talk.
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Official Website: www.bluesilhouettes.com
“I Never Saw the Spring Because I Died in Winter” is now available on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Never-Spring-Because-Died-Winter/dp/173158699X