Violinist and pianist duo to weave free-verse poetry

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PUTNEY — Yellow Barn presents a duo of alums for a residency weaving free-verse poetry from Christopher Logue's War Music with physical theater and music for violin and piano. On Tuesday, Feb. 6,  at 8 p.m., violinist Brigid Coleridge and pianist Lee Dionne will culminate their residency with an evening performance at Next Stage, 15 Kimball Hill.

In 1959, BBC radio producer and classicist Donald Carne-Ross asked British modernist poet Christopher Logue to translate a section of the Iliad for a radio segment. There was one problem — Logue did not speak Greek. Carne-Ross, having known this all along, was hoping for much more than a literal translation. Logue went on to make the story of the Iliad his own.

Dionne said of War Music, "What Logue does so brilliantly in this work is to take a story with which so many of us are familiar and to retell it with an utterly free and contemporary use of language and verse. Using Homer as his model, he transforms the poem into singing modern speech, knowing that we will still recognize within its underlying structures."

Just as Logue cut, expanded, and modernized the ancient tale into his own poetic language, so now do Coleridge and Dionne, exploring ideas of the "classical" in music performance.

Dionne continued, "Logue is our inspiration both for our relationship with the recital format, and for our choice of repertoire within it. The musical works that we've chosen share a similarly playful relationship to their predecessors." Alternating and overlapping music with text, physical theater emerges in Permanent Red as the duo deliver lines, inhabit characters, and toggle between roles of speaker and player. Composers included in the performance include Bach, Kurt g, Szymanowski, Lutos awski, Kreisler, Mozart, de Falla, Strauss, Smirnov, Cage, and Poulenc.

Dionne and Coleridge bring past experience with education and theater to their residency, as well as their many summers at Yellow Barn. Coleridge previously has explored the theatrical possibilities of performance, combining her experience as a violinist with her experience as an actor and theatrical director during her earlier studies. As chamber musician and educator, Dionne is a member of Carnegie Hall's Ensemble Connect.

Created in 2008 by Artistic Director Seth Knopp, Yellow Barn's Artist Residencies program is first retreat in the United States created specifically for professional, performing musicians.

The event that begins at 8 p.m., lasts approximately 70 minutes, and concludes with an open discussion between musicians and audience members. Tickets are $18, $16 for seniors, $9 for students, and are available online a yellowbarn.org.




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