with text by Anne Shaw
Composer: Robert McClure
now our grief is put away uses the poem titled Khao Lak Paradise Resort by Anne Shaw in her book, Undertow. I found Anne after searching for poets I wanted to set for a different project. This poem leapt off the page with its vivid imagery and haunting descriptions of the tsunami that occurred on December 24, 2004 in the Southeast Pacific which included Thailand, the setting for this poem. The poem is filled with Anne’s own description of her experience in the relief efforts, sayings from Thai culture, and descriptions from survivors of the tsunami. Shaw writes, “Thai culture allows a mourning period of 100 days, after which the soul of the departed – and the lives of the living – must move on,” as a description for the line, now our grief is put away.
In setting the work, I did not want to try and take the audience to the places described but rather give them snapshots of moments or resurfacing memories they might have if they experienced this horrific event. The reader of the spoken text in the electronics is Anne Shaw who, kindly, lent her voice to this project.