Selected poem by Bill Manhire are here set in a beguiling musical framework by pianist Norman Meehen and vocalist Hannah Griffin.

“Having set, performed, and recorded some poems by e. e. cummings, I was interested in working with material closer to home. A friend gave me a pile of New Zealand poetry books, and as much as I enjoyed them, the poems didn’t really spark musical ideas for me until I started reading Bill Manhire’s ‘Collected Poems’.

The composition process first involved reading the poems to get a feeling for them ‘as themselves’, but all the while keeping an eye open for ones that were musically resonant. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but sometimes they were evocative in ways that music can be evocative – I think “Song” was like that – or else there was something about the meaning of the verse or the way the lines scanned that made me feel they’d work well as songs.” — Norman Meehan, 2010

Hannah Griffin (voice)
Colin Hemmingsen (reeds)
Norman Meehan (piano)
Bill Manhire (words)

Produced by Keith Hill and Norman Meehan
Recorded by Neil Maddever for Sounds Unlimited
Mixed by Steve Garden and Norman Meehan
Design by UnkleFranc
All compositions © Norman Meehan and Bill Manhire, 2010

This project was made possible with support from the New Zealand School of Music

Released: 23 September 2010
Catalogue: RAT-D020