Poetry, Music & Ellyn!

Picture 2Excerpt from Victor D. Infante’s “Life After Slam”

“The recent revival of poets performing with musicians is an interesting trend,” says Brown, who performs with bassist Steve Lanning-Cafaro as The Duende Project. “I know that for The Duende Project, it’s the chance to find ways to present my work differently to an audience; being a musician myself, it gives me a chance to flex different muscles … even though I may not be playing an instrument myself in the duo. Audiences may find a new way into the work through the music; it’s also possible that those who don’t care for poetry just like the music. Whatever the reasons for it.”

For Ellyn Maybe, a Los Angeles poet whose first full-length book was published by Henry Rollins’ 2.13.61 Publishing, and who recently released a poetry CD, “Rodeo for the Sheepish,” with musical accompaniment, the addition of music to a reading is a serious artistic choice.

“I think performing with music can heighten different moods,” says Maybe, “inspire new phrasing and bring out different, more outgoing aspects of oneself. I reference music quite often in my work, so it’s fun to actually work with music. For audiences it can get interactive as sometimes people dance, sing along and shake the fruit shakers at the shows!”

And it’s not just the poets who see artistic value in the collaboration between art forms. It also adds dimensions for the musicians involved.

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