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Mohammed Fairouz & Paul Muldoon: Follow, Poet



Pete McCabe, Dramaturg at HERE Arts Center, interviews celebrated composer Mohammed Fairouz and Pulitzer-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon on the occasion of the release of a collection of new music, readings and their collaboration. The conversation and musical examples address the challenges of setting poetry to music, how listening to Taylor Swift compares constructively toward appreciating T.S. Eliot, Irish history, and a tease about their coming project on Typhoid Mary.

On January 27, 2015, Universal Music Classics released a new album of works by Fairouz (the youngest composer to have an entire album recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and the first Arab/American composer to have an opera produced at the Met) titled Follow, Poet. The album includes the elegiac song cycle Audenesque sung by mezzo soprano Kate Lindsey, the ballet Sadat, and several readings by Muldoon. The recordings feature the New York City chamber orchestra Ensemble LPR conducted by Evan Rogister.

In this recording the composer and the poet address legacy and language in the passing generations of poet compatriots from W. H. Auden (referencing Auden’s In Memory of W. B. Yeats), the subsequent inspiration to Joseph Brodsky (Verses on the Death of T. S. Eliot), and then (after Brodsky passed away on January 28, 1996 the anniversary of Yeats’s death) the poet Seamus Heaney’s homage entitled Audenesque, and finally to Muldoon himself who eulogized his friend Heaney.
 

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