Music for Writers: Anna Clyne's Collaborations

Image - iStockphoto: MarkRubens
Image – iStockphoto: MarkRubens

“A Shower Of Celestial Delight”

London-born composer Anna Clyne talks warmly of her collaboration with visual artist Josh Dorman.

After all, “my passion is collaborating,” Clyne has said in the past, “with innovative and risk-taking musicians, filmmakers, visual artists…choreographers.” She talks “fluid artistic dialogue,” “creative environment,” “interaction” when she remarks on her love of working with others.

And we think we understand this, right? The chance to bounce ideas off each other, to build a concept together? Sure. Collaboration, we get this.

Anna Clyne. Photo: Javier Oddo
Anna Clyne. Photo: Javier Oddo

But in listening to her newly released The Violin, you may get a sweet chill of new understanding. Six of the seven sections in the suite were written in the six evenings leading up to the anniversary of her mother’s death, one part per night.

When you hear the composer speak her mother’s poetry in two sections — pieces written in the last year of her mother’s life — you’re hearing a child, in formidable command of her medium of music, turn to a parent’s verbal eloquence far beyond her own years for reach, range, and, I think, comfort.

And this, too, you realize, is collaboration.

Thanks to our good colleagues at Q2 Music, the free 24-hour Internet stream of New York Public Radio’s WQXR, I’m able to let you listen as you read.

The Violin has become an inaugural release of a new label, VIA Records, from the multimedia company VisionIntoArt. Chosen as Q2 Music’s current Album of the Week, the stream should be live for you through Sunday (September 21).

In his Album of the Week write, Daniel Stephen Johnson refers, rightly, to the “handsome, witty” success of the music. This is, however, deeply felt wit, an emotional cleverness that many writers will find gently supportive of their own work. In short, there’s a highly verbal intelligence at play in Clyne’s music.

“World Weary”

It’s in the second section of The Violin, “Rest These Hands,” that you first hear Clyne voicing a short poem by her mother:

I rest these hands
World weary

I rest these hands
Toiled weary
Long before they should

These hands
Palmed to palmed
With wonder


Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Music for Writers: Anna Clyne’s Collaborations

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



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