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For more information contact mark.a.kinders@uwrf.edu or brenda.k.bredahl@uwrf.edu.

Presentation Explores Nature's Influence on Music, Poetry

By Samantha Wenwoi
MARCH 30, 2007--The next University of Wisconsin-River Falls Community Classroom will highlight the confluence of nature, poetry and music on Monday, April 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the River Falls Public Library.

UW-River Falls music lecturer Carol Pearce Bjorlie will perform music and poetry inspired by nature at "Rivers of Notes."

"I stop in my tracks and stand in awe to watch Canada geese overhead," says Bjorlie. "I pull off I-35 in October to get an eyeful of autumn colors. I brake for double rainbows. I can't not write about it all."

Calling herself a "poet behind the cello," Bjorlie says she is fully aware of the affect that nature can have on the creative process. If not for the wonders evoked by the environment, for example, the world wouldn't have Beethoven's "The Pastoral Symphony," written after a walk in the forest. Or Carl Sandburg's poem "Jazz Fantasia," inspired by the poet's fascination with the Mississippi River and the jazz bands that performed on steamboats.

In addition to Bjorlie's own works, she will perform the music of Bach, Beethoven and Smetana as well as the poetry of Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes and Kate Green--all examples of work inspired by connections to the natural world--highlight Bjorlie's presentation. "Rivers of Notes" is informal, free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

In addition to teaching at UWRF, Bjorlie also performs as a cellist and narrates and writes her own poetry throughout the Twin Cities area.

"As a musician and writer, listening is my job," she said. "Music and words, as means of communication, are inseparable." The "rivers" in the title of the presentation hold special significance, says Bjorlie, as she has lived near the James River in Virginia, the Potomac in Washington D.C., and now calls the area surrounding the Mississippi River home.

She said of her presentation, "I thrive on being part of a community of learners, and hope there will be lively dialogue. Each person will bring away a nugget of his or her own from the evening. I hope that each person will listen in a new way and consider the interrelation of nature, poetry and music."

The UWRF Community Classroom is a series of presentations by UWRF faculty designed to help people understand and address the vital concerns of our contemporary world. The Outreach and Graduate Studies Office and College of Arts and Sciences cosponsor the series.

      

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