cdcoverThe Subtle Thread

Nine original songs written by the exquisitely gifted guitarist and composer John Tavano (music) and myself (lyrics), featuring the beautiful voice of Ann Harter. Chris Plante (formerly of The Brew) makes a major contribution on melodica and keyboards, as well as engineering and production. Alex Sandman plays terrific bass and also had a big role in engineering the CD. We’re proud to have the otherworldly Albert Lamar play flute and saxophone for us; Albert belonged to the Mississippi Symphony for 15 years, and has performed in orchestras for Ray Charles, The Chieftains, Doc Severinson and others. Aaron Zaroulis, who was The Brew‘s drummer, adds his musicianship to several tracks.

The Subtle Thread is available at Soufflés, Dyno Records and Jabberwocky in Newburyport, and online at CD Baby, iTunes, and a number of streaming services, including Spotify.

CD Baby

Music and Lyrics from the CD

“La Girafe” on Youtube

French lyrics to “La Girafe” and English translation

Sheet music for  “La Girafe”

Sheet music for “Country Wife”


Espaillat / Tavano / Nicol

Melopoeia is an ancient art whose Greek name—a combination of “melos” and “poitria”— suggests its nature: a performance involving poetry recited to a musical accompaniment. The poetry is spoken, not sung in the form of song lyrics, so that the two arts flow separately, through and around each other, without either becoming dominant over the other.

Rhina Espaillat, renowned author of seven books of poetry, and Alfred Nicol, winner of the Richard Wilbur Award, recite their poems as classical guitarist John Tavano plays pieces composed by Bach, Satie, Tarrega and others.

To purchase this CD, please contact Alfred Nicol directly 

Recordings of Melopoeia

Empty Streets by Alfred Nicol (Tavano plays “Corcovado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim)

Sunday by Alfred Nicol (Tavano plays “Gavotte” by Johann Sebastian Bach)

I Dreamt You Young by Rhina Espaillat (Tavano plays “Lagrima” by Francisco Tarrega)

Look to the Small Birds by Rhina Espaillat (Tavano plays “Capricho Arabe” by Tarrega)