Two days ago I posted a piece on this blog about a pleasant and poignant evening spent with two British composers/musicians, Frank Renton and Nigel Clarke. This evening I was supposed to be joining them for the consummation (if I can put it like that) of our creative relationship. Alas, work prevented me from being at the recording studios, though it didn’t really matter. With his innovative spirit Nigel has put together a project involving himself (as composer), Frank (as narrator), me (as ‘poet’), Luc Vertommen (as conductor) and the Brass Band Buizingen (as musical executor), together with several brilliant solo musicians, in recording a double CD of music (mostly Nigel’s) and poetry (mostly mine, ahem) performed to an extraordinary level of excellence by Brass Band Buizingen. In the picture, Frank is reading one of the poems in the recording studio. When it comes to his inspiration, Nigel can be a magpie. The City in the Sea, for example, was inspired variously by Debussy, Edgar Allan Poe and the fate of the Suffolk city of Dunwich. Writing poetry to accompany Nigel’s compositions is a challenge and a privilege and, above all, a pleasure. You can hear a rough recording of Frank reading my poem, The City in the Sea, here, and of gifted musician Glenn Van Looy rehearsing an excerpt of Nigel’s composition of the same title with Brass Band Buizingen here. There’s a Frank Renton interview about the whole experience here. He is interviewing conductor Luc Vertommen and brilliant young musicians Glenn Van Looy and cornet player Harmen Vanhoorne, both of whom will figure largely in the double CD. Watch this space!