Stories » Glen Roven - Santa Fe Songs to premiere at Performance Santa Fe / Santa Fe New Mexican

Top 10 for Oct

Glen Roven - Santa Fe Songs to premiere at Performance Santa Fe / Santa Fe New Mexican

Bookmark and Share

In 2011 the Emmy Award-winning composer Glen Roven was in town from New York when he wandered into the poetry section of a local bookstore. He barely remembers most aspects of that visit to the City Different, he told Pasatiempo, because he was in the throes of profound grief after the death of his partner of 30 years. "I was walking around in a complete daze, really not knowing where I was or what I was doing," he said. He started flipping through books by writers from New Mexico, finding solace in their images and metaphors. "I was so down. I've always loved poetry, but the darkness of it was really speaking to me. And then something clicked. I decided I wanted to set some of these poems to music and call themThe Santa Fe Songs."

That cycle of eight poems falls into the genre of music known as art songs, which are poems set to classical music and sung in an operatic style. "The tradition started, I guess, around the time of Beethoven and Mozart but really came to fruition around Schubert and Schumann," Roven explained. The Santa Fe Songs were recorded by soprano Talise Trevigne on her debut album, At the Statue of Venus (GPR Records, 2011). They have their Santa Fe premiere on Thursday, July 28, at 4 p.m., as part of Performance Santa Fe's Festival of Song.