An interstate musician has collaborated with Denmark poets to create a unique piece of music to be played at the Denmark Festival of Voice.
Adelaide singer-songwriter Jen Lush worked with Denmark creatives while composing her 2017 folk-inspired album The Night’s Insomnia.
The album is a combination of songs and live readings, including Denmark writer Reneé Pettitt-Schipp’s poem Shoot.
The poem is about holding onto hope in the face of environmental destruction and was a source of inspiration for Lush when writing her LP.
“When I first heard Jen’s interpretation of Shoot on The Night’s Insomnia, I was so moved,” Pettitt-Schipp said.
“Jen’s interpretation of the poem showed me my words had been deeply heard and then transformed into something very beautiful and powerful.
“I am excited to see the ways in which Jen has responded to the work of other poets in the region and beyond.”
Collaborative writing with artists
Lush said she enjoys the collaborative journey of working with poets throughout the musical process.
“I love to collect thoughts or background stories from the poets about their poems,” she said.
“I hope to be sensitive to the origin of the ideas by checking in with each poet during the process, share demos and discuss the direction of the music.
“Once a poem is found, I find it so thrilling to open it up like a gift and find the melody and the rhythm, to let the new limitations drive me into new decisions I would never have taken before.”
Lush also collaborated with Denmark poet Graham Kershaw and Melbourne-based performer Maria Zakjowski when forming the album.
“Working with Jen has been a very rewarding, moving and instructive experience for me,” Kershaw said.
“Jen has ways of interpreting poems which capture the essence of the original whilst turning it into something else entirely, shiny and new.
“She has also been very generous in her responses to my attempts at meaningful feedback. I feel encouraged and inspired as a writer as a result.”
Lush and her band will be performing songs from The Night’s Insomnia at St Leonard’s church as part of the Denmark Festival of Voice over June 4-6.