generationsbigGenerations Album Notes

Years ago, a good friend of ours asked my mother and me to present a joint program of my grandfather’s poetry and classical guitar. At first thought, I couldn’t see how this could be accomplished. I dismissed the idea as “nice try, but no thanks!” John Neihardt’s poems are not easily or successfully set to music. They have great power in “spoken word” and don’t bend to the confines of music structure that usually dictate repeating phrases and disjunct delivery. If this wasn’t enough to defeat the idea, my solo instrumentalist ego disliked the idea of subjugating fine music to a secondary role. Thus, breaking up the music to fit words was equally unacceptable.

Nonetheless, we agreed to perform and the date was rapidly approaching. With the help and encouragement of my wife, Joy, we came upon a plan. What we discovered one afternoon in Bancroft, Nebraska seems to us to work well. I carefully selected music that conveyed a similar emotion to a poem Hilda was to recite. By playing the music and reciting the poem over and over, Joy, Hilda and I found “meeting points” in the music and spoken poem that joined them together without restricting either! What you hear on this CD is the result of our endeavor.