“Something Permanent” is a song cycle on poems by Cynthia Rylant. Each of the thirty poems in Ms. Rylant’s book of the same name reacts to a photograph taken by Walker Evans during the Great Depression. I have set seven of those poems to music, and thanks to a Faculty Research Grant, have had visualizations of the photographs designed by my colleague Linda Ganus. Those visualizations unfold as the song progresses. These videos are posted on YouTube, but they can also be shown during a live performance of the song cycle. The premiere of that particular presentation of this cycle happened at a concert in Baker Hall in the Zoellner Arts Center on September 30, 2017.
The performers you will hear are mezzo-soprano Jessica Bowers and guitarist Oren Fader. The recording was engineered and produced by Adam Abeshouse. An new arrangement of this song cycle for chamber ensemble and mezzo will be premiered by SATORI on January 27, 2018.
Please take a moment to watch and listen to these songs, preferably in the order presented here. If you can’t catch all the words, please hit the CC tab so you can see the subtitles. And if you like any of these, feel free to post them on Facebook or send them to friends.