Music/Words Explores Connections Between Poetry and Music

Music/Words, an interdisciplinary series founded and curated by NYC-based pianist Inna Faliks, begins its third season on Sunday, November 21, at 6pm with a performance featuring Faliks at the piano along with readings by poets Sandra Beasley and Oni Buchanan at New York’s Cornelia Street Café. The varied program will include Chaconne by composer Sofia Gubaidulina, two Liszt Etudes, the short work Cathedral Waterfall (from the Etudes) by Augusta Read Thomas and Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit (featured on Faliks’ recent CD release, Sound of Verse on MSR Records). The Cornelia Street Café is located at 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, NYC. Tickets are $20 and are available by calling 212-989-9319.

Music/Words celebrates links between poetry and music by presenting collaborations between exciting solo performers and acclaimed contemporary poets in the form of a live recital/reading. Inna Faliks created the series in order to foster a chance for poets and musicians to work together and inspire each other, as well as to allow different audiences to come together for these musical-literary events. New published and unpublished works are read alongside performances of music old and new and connected by content, intuition, and inspiration. According to Faliks, “I pair performers together based on their personalities and styles, and encourage them to choose the poems and music in varied ways that are strongly and intuitively connected.”

In past seasons, Music/Words has featured collaborations between acclaimed poets such as Jesse Ball, Deborah Landau and Mark Levine, and musicians such as Wendy Warner, Leon Livshin and Angelina Gadeliya, at performance spaces such as Le Poisson Rouge and Cornelia Street Café. WFMT Radio in Chicago featured Music/Words in regular live broadcasts throughout the month of April 2010. This season, each concert of Music/Words (four concerts, in a variety of venues) represents a different element – fire, earth, water, or air. The other three concerts will be held on March 4 (featuring Vadim Neselovskyi, jazz pianist, and Inna Faliks); April 8 (featuring Sharan Leventhal, violin); and the season finale, in May, (Inna Faliks, poet TBA).

Called “A delight to hear” and “riveting” by Phil Greenfield of the Baltimore Sun, Inna Faliks played her debut with the Chicago Symphony at age 15, and performs regularly at major venues in US and abroad. A winner of many international competitions including the 2005 International Pro Musicis Award, Ms. Faliks has recently performed at Carnegie Hall, Paris’s Salle Cortot, The Metropolitan Museum, Bargemusic, a recital tour of Russia, and in multiple TV and radio broadcasts worldwide. Her CD, Sound of Verse, has been enthusiastically reviewed this year by Gramophone, American Record Guide and other press. Recent festival appearances include Verbier, Taos, and Brevard. A champion of both contemporary and classical music, Ms. Faliks performed the NY and LA premieres of “13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg” – variations by contemporary composers on Bach’s Aria. Her former teachers include Ann Schein, Gil Kalish, Leon Fleisher and Boris Petrushansky.

Oni Buchanan is the author of Spring, a Poetry Honors winner of the 2009 Massachusetts Book Awards and selected by Mark Doty for the 2007 National Poetry Series. Her first poetry book, What Animal, was published in 2003 by the University of Georgia Press. Oni is also a concert pianist.

Sandra Beasley is the author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, selected by Joy Harjo and published by W. W. Norton. Her first collection, Theories of Falling, won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. Her nonfiction has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine and she is working on Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, forthcoming from Crown. She lives in Washington, D.C.