Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Living Shakespeare ...

Yesterday, Lindsay and I completed the fifth sketch of the five sonnets we will be using in the Shakespeare Sonnet Project. It was a glorious moment to realize all of the sonnets in song form because they are ready to arrange. 

What has been so extraordinary about this process is how the words have begun to shape my life. A good example of what I mean is #18 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" In working with Shakespeare's words, I ponder the nature of my relationships with the people I love most ... and in this case (because the sonnet was written about a friend) the extraordinary friendship I have with Lindsay ... not only is she a great collaborator, but she is one of my dearest friends.

When I get to the couplet, it is Shakespeare's words that make me believe without question in the power of art ... and in the amazing miracle of collaboration. With every note we write, we build something that is meant to preserve the sonnet into song ... and we preserve our extraordinary friendship.  Through THAT, we both realize Shakespeare's truth:

"So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

With #54 "O how much more does beauty beauteous seem", it makes me think about the inner beauty of those I meet. When youth fades, the beauty of what is inside is what remains. In Shakespeare's case, the person's beauty is distilled like the essence of a rose and captured in the words he wrote.

What is so incredible to me is how in working with the text, my mind turns to beauteous thought even when I am not working on the settings. The act of translating five sonnets into song is transforming my life--especially my thoughts. It is living Shakespeare!

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