Monday, November 12, 2012

Will Reynolds' POEMS & MOON SONGS

I've had the pleasure of hearing Will Reynolds' music a few times now, with songs seeming to pop up at every up-and-coming musical theatre concert in town as of late. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a full evening of his songs, which came in the form of Poems & Moon Songs, a "song constellation" presented by Libra Theater Company at The Underground Lounge. With incredible singers Sara Jean Ford, Marissa, McGowan, Jeremy Morse, and Zachary Prince, the evening of original songs about seasons and time really soared along with some gorgeous tunes written to accompany poems by famous writers like Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

(Rehearsal of "Heart, We Will Forget Him," sung by Sara Jean Ford and Marissa McGowan)

Many of the songs arranged for the poems (which served as lyrics) were quite stunning pieces. I especially enjoyed the Emily Dickinson pieces which featured very lovely harmonies for two of her most famous pieces, "Heart, We Will Forget Him" and "Hope." I loved the idea of setting famous poems to music-- it's fascinating the way punctuation and structural choices are reflected in the music. I can only imagine how awesome it would be to hear an e.e. cummings or John Donne poem put in a song someday.

The original songs were just as memorable and elegant, with many songs feeling like a part of a starry-eyed American songbook collection. There were many wistful tunes that allowed for some beautiful performances, and lord knows I'm a sucker for some well-placed string parts and the cello and violin didn't disappoint.

Standouts included the irreverent "Spring," sung below at a Dreamlight Theatre Company concert:


And "Si Vous Me Souivez" sung below by Will Reynolds himself (and which was sung winkingly by Jeremy Morse in the Libra production):


The Libra Theater Company has 1 more performance of this lovely piece tonight at 7:30 pm. All proceeds from ticket sales go to Hurricane Sandy relief, so you can see a great show and support a great cause. Get your tickets here.

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