A few days ago I was again wonderfully surprised by someone whose musical skills and talents are only matched by her profound sense of understanding and her big-hearted display of friendship.
More than a year ago, months after I had written and printed Lalomanu, I learned that musician and composer Faye Bendrups had put music to one of my poems, ‘Roto’ [‘Broken’]. Faye transformed my poem into a beautiful milonga, a type of Argentinean melody that preceded the internationally better-known tango.
‘Roto’ was first performed at University House, in Canberra, in 2011. There is a video on Youtube that I recorded (here) and, despite its poor quality, you can get an idea of Faye’s amazing voice and musical flair in TangoMundo’s extraordinarily beautiful rendition of the poem. Even today I cannot comprehend how Faye was able to give such beautiful music to my words.
While in a recent visit to Melbourne, Faye surprised us again by giving the most beautiful gift a friend artist can give: she has put music to another one of my poems in Lalomanu, ‘Epilogue’. ‘Epilogue’ is the final poem in the book. I could never thank Faye enough for the gift she has created and shared.
Given the muted response Lalomanu received from some quarters, I am not only immensely moved but also forever grateful for this amazing woman’s respectful, artistic homage to my poems. I still believe the Lalomanu poems are simply words of immense sorrow, of unspeakable terror, of indescribable pain.
Let the world know that I feel privileged beyond measure. Thank you so very much, Faye.