The Emporium Gazette
from
Issue 25 -- May 2001




Poetry World ~ Poetry And Music
by Bob Nailor


How often have you heard the phrase, "I don't enjoy poetry," only to see that same person keep tempo to a great tune and mime the lyrics?

Poetry comes in many forms and disguises. Most people don't associate music and poetry together, except possibly as a recitation to some classical piece or beatnik bongos.

Music began as a rhythm that touched the soul. Later, words were added that evoked a mood. Religion played a strong part in this, but today's youth, similar to those from the past, have created a renewal of faith, reviving the old ways.

Enter Silvercord, a band from Michigan. The core group consists of 3 members, Geoff Nostrant - keyboards, vocals, guitars and samples; Ken Ball - bass, keyboards and drums; and Joe Klowski - keyboards, samples and drum loops.

Silvercord's songs cover a wide spectrum of moods. A few of the titles are: Numb, Concubia Nocte, Lorelei, and Autopilot.

However, Silvercord has worked with several other musicians to make the project (their first CD) what it is. These people and the pieces they assisted with are: Ward Donovan - lyrics and vocals on Autopilot; Jeff Fader - bass on Lorelei; Anne Jung - keyboards on Autopilot and Numb; EunJu Jung - vocals on Lorelei and Numb; Curt Kuhl - guitars on Concubia Nocte, keyboards on Lorelei; and Steve Scholtes - keyboards and sampling on Numb.

The EG: So how do they create a piece? Silvercord: Most of the time the music comes first and then the words. They try to be poetic with the music and then build on that with the words. If the music is written with a particular mood in mind, then when they write the lyrics they try to meld the music to emulate the mood even more. Sometimes they do start with a phrase and just brainstorm around it until all of the words fit together and work towards the end that was in mind. Geoff does most of the lyrical writing, with some help from Ward. For some of the songs they simply hit playback and Geoff sings while the group grabs phrases from his improvisation. Then they work and build on one or two of those phrases until they have the poetry they are looking for.

The EG: Can you set the mood? Silvercord: Certainly. A lot of Silvercord's music attempts to emulate a mood or state of consciousness. Take Concubia Nocte for instance. Ken suffer bouts of depression and while in that state he sat down at the keyboard and started playing some really minor chord progressions that seemed to click with the way he was feeling. Curt started playing the guitar to work out some harmonies on Ken's chords. After a few minutes it clicked and they had captured the mood. They built around those two tracks, keeping the mood in mind and ended up with a really dark song.

The EG: Does religion or a belief play in Silvercord's music and lyrics? Silvercord: Their belief in astral projection/travel plays heavily into the music. Geoff and Ken have done a lot of studying the realm of out-of-body experiences. Ken feels that this belief definitely exhibits itself in their music. The metaphysical realm fascinates them and they try to mold their music into that somewhat dreamy, ethereal state of being or consciousness.

The EG: Who has influenced your poetry and music? Silvercord: Poetically and musically a lot of influence is from Twin Peaks, a TV series. Also bands like The Autumns, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Faith and The Muse, among others, have been a basis for the group. The group attempts to draw on everything possible to make the music/poetry flow just right. Silvercord feels having as many people involved is a blessing since nine different people listening to a piece from nine different angles, surely someone will pick up on something missed. The end result is the ability to make the piece as lyrically and musically beautiful as possible.

As you can see, for some, music is a religion, a faith; for others, a pleasant pause in today's hectic lifestyle, an escape. The next time you hear a song, listen to its words and the poetry hidden within.

Be sure to visit Silvercord's web page and listen to their music. It's really inspirational!




Bob Nailor is author of "The Secret Voice," an Amish-Christian story, "Pangaea, Eden Lost," an adventure story, "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold," a Celtic fantasy, and "2012: Timeline Apocalypse," an end-of-time tale. He is also included in several anthologies and collections. Check his website at www.bobnailor.com




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