Spike Mason's album, Widening Circles, brings Rilke into the room as a song.
The words, sung by the 2012 National Jazz Award winner Kristin Berardi, are an English translation of poems penned over a hundred years ago by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The music is composed in a style that is a synergy of jazz and classical music.
"The writing came slowly" says Mason, "I worked for eight years on the music, and over that time the words have weaved their way into my life. I knew I couldn't get in the way of these poems - the music had to cushion and support the lyrics, all the way through. If I moved toward overpowering them, the structure and meaning would simply collapse."
It is beautiful, wistful, and the perfect gift for a few on my Christmas list. Thanks to Spike for telling me about it.