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Where Everything is Music

Justin Grounds

Composer and Violinist, Justin Grounds, took to the phone as well as letter writing for his part in ‘Bringing Art Home’ to share the hope that can come from reading, sharing and listening to poems.  ‘Where Everything is Music’ is a series of favourite poems recorded from people’s homes with musical accompaniment.

‘Bringing Art Home’ is an Arts for Health initiative that uses the postal service to connect artists with day care participants isolating at home during the COVID 19 pandemic, with each artist sharing their own specific creative expertise in music, poetry or visual arts to the project.

Throughout the lockdown period it has been poems that have kept me nourished. Of course, I’ve been drinking tea and eating bread and butter and jam and greens, but I’ve also found the time and the isolation have gently led me back into words and the music they carry silently inside them. As Ocean Vuong says, language can “begin and end in the body. Language is something we carry.”
Poems have been a source of quiet joy, a gentle consolation in the midst of so much grief and struggle, and a daily reminder that we are not alone – in our feelings, our fears, our laughter, our memories. As I began to try to envisage how to connect with all the people who used to come to the Day Care Centres where we would chat and sing and play music, it struck me that I could write letters asking for a favourite poem from people. It was wonderful to receive poems in the mail each month and hear about why people love them so much. I then went on to make recordings of people reading their poems and composed my own music to accompany each poem. As a composer, I did my best to ‘hear’ the unheard resonances shimmering beneath the words.
It was a thrill to discover these poems, and the connections they have created between us during this time. Some are whimsical, some nostalgic, and others consoling and encouraging. I hope you enjoy the recordings, that they nourish you, and that we can all continue to carry these precious words as we begin the journey out of isolation.

Justin Grounds

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