Becoming a redwood: a genealogy of expression in Dana Gioia’s poetry and Lori Laitman’s song cycle

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lucy Owen Hoyt (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Elizabeth Keathley

Abstract: Meaning in art song transforms from poet to composer to performer to listener. Together, various layers of meaning form a genealogy of expression. In this paper, I articulate a theory of expression genealogy, using the song cycle Becoming a Redwood, poems by Dana Gioia (b.1950) and music by Lori Laitman (b. 1955). I argue that a rich and credible performance depends upon awareness of this genealogy. I investigate the process of transforming Gioia's poetry into art song and how knowledge of that process informs performance and listener response. The study provides a methodology for performance that may be applied to other vocal music. To demonstrate the transformation of meaning in the multi-layered creative process, I employ several methods, including personal interviews with the composer and the poet, close readings of the four poems, and analysis of the musical settings.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Art song, Becoming a Redwood, Dana Gioia, Expression, Lori Laitman, Poetry
Poetry $x History and criticism.
Musical analysis.
Gioia, Dana $d 1950-
Laitman, Lori $d 1955-

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