Poetry of Earth

Modern Chamber-jazz-art-songs illuminated by high-flying improvisations!

On March 27, 2012, Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records released, Poetry of Earth, the newest musical creation from the heart, soul, and life of bassist/composer, Anne Mette Iversen. This double CD is a collection of art songs: eighteen English and Danish poems set to a unique combination of extended composition and jazz improvisation. The music was conceived while Iversen spent time at an artists’ residency in a thousand year old cloister on the cliffs of Italy’s Amalfi coast. The poems, from Romantic to contemporary, were all chosen as meditations on human nature, and the nature of the world around us. The Poetry of Earth musicians are world-renowned as improvisers, and have each developed a personal sound and identity that they contribute selflessly for the realization of this singular music.

The Poetry of Earth project is very close to Iversen’s heart. The songs represent the profound outcome of an artist contemplating our existence and our relationship with nature. Iversen explains, “the overall theme for the music is nature. To me it’s obvious how nature is a big component in our lives; even if we live somewhat removed from it. Maybe because I have spent many years living in big cities and have also been able to spend extended periods of time in places where nature is especially beautiful or astonishing, and where the local lifestyle still relates to and depends on nature; the relationship between humans and nature has been emphasized and upgraded in my book. And speaking about nature I do not only mean the visible physical elements, I also think of the inner nature of our lives on earth and our existence.”

Iversen’s music is paired with text from a variety of poetry, both English, and Danish (representing Iversen’s birthplace). “I was given some poems by Danish writer Svende Grøn, and the descriptions of nature, life and human emotions immediately resonated with me in a very meaningful way. Written in a somewhat isolated part of Denmark, Thy, these poems countered the busy city life that I live in New York. So I decided to set them to music, and that became the genesis of Poetry of Earth. I then expanded the poetry search and included English poetry as well; and the poems I chose for my project were, apart from a few, from the Romantic period. Obviously a main subject during this period was nature, so I was thoughtful about picking poems that still felt relevant to our lives in the 21st century.”


With Poetry of Earth Anne Mette Iversen uses poetry and music to explore the notion that when we learn to be present and in the moment, we are open for the inspiration, and the exchange that nature offers us. To contemplate that our experiences (joy, sorrow, pain, etc), also exist in the natural world around us, enriches our existence. Iversen explains, “nature is a guide, a source of inspiration, a source of consolation, a source of pleasure; simply, a source of life that we can draw on.

 

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