Musical poetry: a creative arts collaboration….

Creative Writing tutor Joanna Ezekiel has been working with composer Pat Livingstone to set Joanna’s poems to music, using music technology that includes sound effects such as marimbas and a klezmer band! Joanna chose five poems from her poetry collections ‘A Braid of Words’, ‘Safe Passage’, and ‘Centuries of Skin’ that had been tried and tested at live poetry readings. At Pat’s loft studio, Joanna recorded the poems using a GarageBand software programme. Pat selected words from the poems that lent themselves to sound effects, and discussed the tone and content of each poem with Joanna before deciding on the tempo and the mix of instruments that reflected the inner world of the poem. After adding some sound effects, Pat transferred the rest of the files into a Logic software programme where she did the rest of the composing, recording and mixing, before uploading the poems into an MP3 format. Joanna and Pat met several years ago when they were teaching in the same East London school, where they started to take an interest in each other’s creative work. They are delighted to have been able to collaborate using published poems and music technology. Joanna’s creative writing blog is here. Pat is currently recording a CD and setting up a website. Listen to this delightful collaboration by clicking on these links:Coffee with an ex Coffee with an ex Matisse’s snail at the home office v.4Matisse’s snail at the home officeShe dreams of climbing a mountain v.2She dreams of climbing a mountainUncle Alec and Elijah – v.1Uncle Alec and ElijahWatching the sunrise v.1Watching the sunrise


  1. Mike (Ezekiel) Fisher 8 October 2010 at 10:38 pm

    This may sound silly, but I went to Barnsley Art School in 1959 and in my second year I was given the nickname of Eekiel by one of the second-year students.
    When I saw your name it made me smile and took me right back.

    Silly reply but I just had to tell you.

  2. PLowe 9 October 2010 at 6:26 am

    Music too intrusive. Probably just the balance.

  3. Frances White 9 November 2010 at 11:14 am

    Joanna & Pat, Congratulations on your imaginative collaboration. I enjoyed hearing these finely-wrought poems set to a variety of appropriate sound sequences. Bearing in mind PLowe’s feedback, the music may be even more effective if played at full volume before and after the poems, but turned down a few decibels while the words are being read. Well done!

  4. Rodney Kay-Kreizman 26 April 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Musical Poetry as a “new Genre ” to me as an amateur musician fiddle and Mandolin (Folk/Balkan/Klezmer/ Classical bits-works sometimes and does accentuate the word/imagery sometimes but not all the time for me-hence…I am a little diffident about it. I remember in the 1960’s a Liverpool Poet was doing it as well.. but I’ve not really listened very much to it.
    Unlike Frances White above I hate loud music-Unless its Bruckner/Beethoven/etc as it used to dramatise meanings and emotions-which are in short bursts and not long sequences. T value Classical Music because of the emotional narratives, tales, Myths and stories conveyed through the music . I have not found a real alternative to this and Pop music although good to dance to-is just that for me. I think the poems are quite good
    with some memorable phrases that are very expressive. Having tried both composing Music, and Poetry, I find I can say more and be more accurate and meaningful via the music. I currently write essays on Music health Education and Politics and am a Political activist ! Best Wishes
    Rodney Kay-Kreizman Ret’d Teacher


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