Passages, our new CD!

Passages, our new CD, was released on October 1! Hard to believe that it has been nine years since our we made our first recording of melopoeia,, the art that so delighted Rhina Espaillat when she heard it as a child in the Dominican Republic. Rhina’s earliest memories include the pleasurable one of hearing poetry recited in her home to the sound of guitars and the piano. Her grandmother, herself a poet, would invite other poets and musicians to the house for recitals. Though as a child she could not understand what was being said, she understood immediately an essential thing about how it was said: music came from the spoken words as well as from the instruments.  “These people were having fun!” she remembers.

We’re still having an awful lot of fun putting together programs of melopoeia and performing them for appreciative audiences, though I’m afraid many of our best performances take place around Rhina’s kitchen table. It must be the sherry!

In this most recent program  we explore various kinds of journeys, or passages: the very different sea-voyages of conquistadors and exiles; the swift travel of atomic particles; a seemingly inconsequential walk from the work-place to the bus; and finally, the passage of time and the final border-crossing that lies ahead of us all.

Classical/flamenco guitarist John Tavano has never sounded better!

Thanks to Alan Bull for letting us use his painting for the cover, to my sister Elise Nicol for doing the graphic design, and to the wonderful poet Alicia Stallings, and the great Richard Wilbur, whose poems we’ve borrowed to add to the mix.

You can view track listings and listen to samples at CDBaby.

Rhina Espaillat’s Prescient Political Poem

Here’s a poem that I honestly considered overwrought when Rhina brought it to The Powow River Poetry Workshop many months ago, because who then could have believed that Donald Trump’s campaign would ever gain any traction? The poem sounds a lot wiser now. Thanks to Micah Mattix, editor of Prufrock, for sending out this link to “After the Rally” by Rhina Espaillat, originally published in The Hudson Review.