Take the words of an award-winning poet and the music of an acclaimed musician, composer, singer / songwriter, and poetry takes on new meaning and reaches a new audience.
Local musician Elizabeth de Vegt has taken poems from Airini Beautrais' book Flow, set them to music, and is singing them at a stunning location during La Fiesta.
"I knew Airini was an amazing poet, went to the library, got out all her poetry books, was attracted to Flow because I seem to write a lot of my own songs about the river, or oceans, or water," says Elizabeth. "I kind of had that connection already before I read the book."
The book is divided into three parts with different writing styles, so Elizabeth has chosen poems from each section to put to music.
"I made a short list and just went for it," she says. "I'm aiming for 15. It's going to be a full show."
Before Christmas Elizabeth talked to Carla Donson, La Fiesta creator and co-ordinator, about the idea, and asked Airini for permission to use her poetry in a concert.
"She was very generous and said yes.
"Then I started writing and got on a roll. It was almost like they wrote themselves. The text is beautiful, it's in its full form, well thought out with these incredibly deep ideas and layers and imagery. I just had to put the music to it.
"The stories they tell, that's what sucks you in. The way the book is written is so imaginative."
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Some of the poems are written in song form, with repeated refrains and rhythm.
Elizabeth says some of the poems have a "hymn-like" feel to them.
For the first half of the show Elizabeth will perform solo, bringing in other musicians and singers for the second half.
The venue is a beautiful home on Durie Hill, formerly the home of Gita Brooke, with a view over the river, the perfect setting for Airini's poems and Elizabeth's music.
"I have a vision of an intimate, very special, one-off performance. You get to be part of something magical in a very special location. Airini's going be there and she'll read some poems.
"And we're supporting La Fiesta."
The final song will be a capella, with as many harmonies as Elizabeth can arrange.
"It's going to be outside so it will pay to bring chairs or a picnic blanket."
Beautrais X de Vegt is on Friday, March 5 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 through the Royal Wanganui Opera House. Wine and nibbles at the concert. Venue will be confirmed on booking.