We Must Always Have a Song was written in the fall of 2001 as a response to the September 11 attacks. The title is taken from a wonderful David Budbill poem, What Issa Heard:
What Issa Heard
Two hundred years ago Issa heard the morning birds
singing sutras to this suffering world.
I heard them too, this morning, which must mean,
since we will always have a suffering world,
we must also always have a song.
David Budbill, ” What Issa Heard” from Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse. Copyright © 1999 by David Budbill. Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P. O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368-0271, USA. All rights reserved worldwide.
My own interpretation of the poem and my inspiration for the music was that during our darkest times art is of the utmost importance. It gives us comfort, insight, and ways to move toward the light.
The performance is by the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, Steven Klimowski, artistic director. Here is a link: