St. Martin poetry selected by Dutch composers for choral music performance in Netherlands

Newly created music to Drisana Deborah Jack‘s poetry will be performed at the 55th anniversary concert of the Delft Ars Vocalis Chamber Choir in the Netherlands, said Jack’s publisher HNP.

Dutch composers Rita Hijmans and Anke Brouwer selected Jack’s poem “I dare you” and its Dutch translation from a long list of verse proposed by Ars Vocalis to four composers that it commissioned to create “new musical composition” for its anniversary concert.

I am very intrigued by the notion of interpreting the poetry into music for a choir,” said Jack, a leading St. Martin poet and artist.

I’ve recited my poetry with music before but this is different. This is another artist using my work as the foundation and creating something new. I am honored,” said Jack, who will also recite her poetry at the concert. The “jubileumconcert” will open with the works of Bach and Mozart on November 8, 2014, in the city of Delft.

Interestingly, the title of the choral celebration is “Ik daag je uit te dromen” (I dare you to dream“), which happens to be the Dutch title of Jack’s poem. The theme of the concert is “Freedom and Liberty“.

Jack’s “I dare you” is from her first poetry book The Rainy Season (HNP, 1997). According to the poet, the Delft Ars Vocalis searched books and online sources for a variety of poems for the composers to create music for.

"They found both an English and a Dutch version of 'I dare you' and put them both on the list for the composers to select. They did not expect for both to be selected but when it happened they decided to go with it," said Jack, who is also the author of Skin, her second volume of verse (HNP, 2006).

They found both an English and a Dutch version of ‘I dare you’ and put them both on the list for the composers to select. They did not expect for both to be selected but when it happened they decided to go with it,” said Jack, who is also the author of Skin, her second volume of verse (HNP, 2006).

Having her work selected for not one but two musical scores in one concert is probably part of what literary and culture critic Fabian Badejo means when he advises St. Martin and other Caribbean writers in his book Salted Tongues to, “Publish and be blessed.”

“How else would a lone and unknown writer starting out anywhere eventually manage to get his or her work known somewhere and used in a variety of ways?” said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.

This has been a busy year for Drisana, with art exhibitions and poetry readings. We’re very proud of her and inspired by her pursuit of excellence in her work,” said Sample.

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