Composer Ellen Ruth Harrison‘s latest work, Lost Time, will be premiered by Jackie Stevens, Lauren McAllister, and Ellen Graham on our upcoming Soundbox concert Music for Three. Ellen shared some of the inspiration behind her work in a guest blog post, below. The premiere will take place at 7 PM on April 28 at the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati (Ballroom).


The poet Norman Finkelstein once told me that he is a Romantic modernist. I believe this holds true for me as well, which may explain why I find his poetry so inspiring. When I read his work, I feel transported onto another plane or into another world. And in this other world I find the inspiration for my music. The rhythm of his poems, their haunting imagery, and their sense of mystery and magic spark my imagination; and musical ideas flow forth from me in response.

Lost Time sets segments from Finkelstein’s poem Track, a spellbinding work of great depth, wisdom, and imagination that explores the darkness surrounding us. I am fascinated by its evocative images and musical sensibility and have tried to reflect the magical, mysterious and melancholy quality of his poem in my work. The piece opens with:

“Among the paper trees
a figure glides and stops
Shimmers in a light
that is a sort of music
Turns toward
or away from home.”

Need I say more?  The mystery is captivating.

– Ellen Ruth Harrison, March 2019.

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