What inspires artists to create something new and beautiful in the world?

That question was the genesis of The Muse Project, a collaborative performance between the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and Stories on Stage.

The roots were planted a few years ago when BCOC and Lighthouse presented “Shape and Form,” a program blending the music of Bach with original poems and stories by Lighthouse faculty members. Five musicians and six writers participated in this extraordinary brew, and the resulting performance at the Lighthouse Grotto created quite a buzz. We knew that this was just the beginning of a collaborative journey!

Lighthouse’s director Michael Henry and I began thinking about our next project, and it  became clear that we should invite Stories on Stage to join us on the adventure. This wonderful Colorado organization brings stories to life with great actors. This was a perfect fit, and our three organizations began the brainstorming for what we called The Muse Project.

In ancient times, the muses were goddesses who presided on Mount Parnassus over the various arts. Baroque music often honored or depicted the muses, and poets and story-tellers throughout the centuries call on the muses to speak through their stories. Today, the “muse” can be a person (perhaps a friend, mentor, or love interest) who inspires someone to pursue their art.

Our blended performance will feature an eclectic mix of Baroque music, plus Conor Abbott Brown’s new composition Down From the Verge of Heaven, created especially for this program. Original poems and stories by five superb writers (all faculty members at Lighthouse) will be performed by actors Anthony Powell and Mare Trevathan from Stories on Stage. Readings will mostly alternate in dialogue with the musical selections, but in some cases will be simultaneously performed with the music.

Now, back to that question: What inspires artists to create something new and beautiful in the world?

The Muse Project
February 23-25 (three performances)

Writers: Michael J. Henry, J. Diego Frey, Assetou Xango, Joy Roulier, Sawyer, Jennifer Itell
Actors: Anthony Powell, Mare Trevathan
Musicians: Martin Davids and Stacey Brady, violins; Emily Bowman, viola; Lara Turner, cello; Mark Elliot Bergman, bass;  Frank Nowell, harpsichord; Daniel Zuluaga, guitar and theorbo; Linda Lunbeck, recorder

Musical Selections:
Henry Eccles, Fantasia in C major for solo violin
J.S. Bach, Sonata No. 2 for Solo Violin, BWV 1003: Andante (arr. by Martin Davids)
Georg Philipp Telemann, Overture in G minor from La Changeante, TWV 55:g2
Telemann, Fantasia for Solo Recorder in C major, TWV 40:2
Johann Fischer, Passacaglia (Urania, Muse of Astronomy)
arranged by Frank Nowell and Alexander Vittal
Fischer, Tastada (Terpsichore, Muse of the Dance)
George Frideric Handel, Passacaille and Gigue from Terpsichore
Turlough O’Carolan, Irish Air from The Hibernian Muse
Francesco Geminiani, Concerto in G minor after Corelli op 5 no. 3: Adagio/Allegro
Conor Abbott Brown, Down from the Verge of Heaven
Antonio Vivaldi, La Folia, RV63

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