Portfolio Piece #3

composition and drumming by aaron

This musical setting of Frank O’Hara’s poem “Three Airs” (1958) is the result of an Artist Residency the musicians participated in in Banff, Canada. Prior to the residency I was reading Frank O’Hara’s collection Lunch Poems and discovered the deeply moving poem “Three Airs”. 

In this portfolio I have presented part II. This second poem explores descriptive metaphors: a little bird manages a foundry, it must grasp things out of slime and drop them into cauldrons of hideousness. One can read into it the effects of industrialization on nature. Lush harmonies describe this certainly tongue-in-cheek but simultaneously grotesque scene. 

The musical aesthetics intermingle art-song, jazz ballad, and collective improvisation.