‘With Words’ Unites UH Musicians, Writers

Feb. 15 Concert Performed by Aura, Featuring Readings from Creative Writing Students

University of Houston musicians and creative writers will come together during a special performance on Feb. 15. The Moores School of Music contemporary ensemble Aura will team up with writers from the University’s acclaimed Creative Writing Program during “With Words.” Part concert, part literary reading, the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Moores Opera House.

“With Words” will feature contemporary compositions performed by Aura. Before each musical performance, UH creative writers will deliver readings of original works (poetry, prose) that complement the tone of each composition. 

“I was very excited when I first heard the concept for this concert,” said Aura singer Danielle Wojcik. “Not only does it present an opportunity to work closely with artists from other programs, it also combines the powers of musical expression and the spoken word. While the music can be entirely subjective to the listener, the spoken text gives focus and specificity urging the audience to experience it in a different way. It's really powerful stuff!”

Musical and written works to be performed include:

  • Composition – “Wild Purple” by Joan Tower featuring Shelby Thompson (viola) / “Psalm for Odessa” read by writer Luisa Muradyan
  • Composition – “little bits” by Stacy Garrop featuring Robert Trillo (violin), Andrew Cavazos (cello) and Laura Bleakley (piano) / “A Night at the Forum” read by writer David Messmer
  • Composition – “Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say” by Kate Soper featuring Danielle Wojcik (vocals, soprano), Rebecca Poole (flute) / “Thank You, Dr. Freud, I Always Needed Another Mother” read by writer Matthew Salesses
  • Composition – “Cheating, Lying, Stealing” by David Lang featuring Alexandra Doyle (bass clarinet), Andrew Cavazos (cello), Jessica Myers (piano), Allen Vinson (marimba, percussion), Zac Bass (brake drum), Justin Grubbs (brake drum)  / “Re-creation Myth” read by writer Jeni McFarland
  • Composition – “Retro Kitty” by Joe Cutler featuring Roberto Trillo (violin), Allen Vinson (marimba) and Jessica Myers (piano) / “Flat Pink” read by writer Georgia Pearle
  • Composition – “Drawings” by Sydney Hodkinson featuring Nina Bledsoe (viola), Shelby Thompson (viola) / “Of Things Unseen” read by writer Nathan Stabenfeldt
  • Composition – “Chamber of Horrors” by Elena Kats-Chernin featuring Shelby Thompson (viola) / “A Cicada” by writers Adrienne Perry and Dino Enrique Piacentini

The concert will be a new experience for the artists, said Rob Smith, director of Aura. It also will offer audiences an intriguing look into two of the University’s respected arts programs, he added.

“Collaborations such as this allow audiences to expand their horizons, and like the artists involved, see their favorite art form in a new light, which will heighten their appreciation of it,” said Smith. “It is also offers two art forms for the price of one.”

“With Words” is presented by Aura and UH’s Gulf Coast journal for literature and art. Tickets are $7 and $12. They can be purchased online or by calling 713-743-3313.