Poetry and Journalism

Audio art - Poetry as Music

Poetry: Anita McAndrews Music: J.D. Peterson
While visiting Newport, Rhode Island, to do historic research on the first wife of Oliver Belmont, Sara Swan Whiting, I ran across a book called "The Photograph Upstairs," by Anita McAndrews. The novel she had written struck such a chord with me in regard to my own experience that I felt I must meet this woman.

Several weeks later, connected through her publisher, we first met at the DeBlois Art Gallery on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, where her artwork was on display. From the moment we met there was an instant rapport as if to rekindle an old and deep friendship.

We were both of us artists, both of us writers and poets, and both of us widowed at a young age. Anita and I shared a common ground of experiences and inspiration expressed through our arts.

I would visit her home near the Newport harbor, and we would discuss art and music, my research and her life in Panama. On warm summer evenings I would bring my guitar and sing for Anita in her garden. One evening she mentioned some poetry she had written years earlier that she wanted to put to music, particularly a poem called "Ballad in Two Parts."

I had discovered that poetry is not the same as song lyrics,; however, lyrics can be poetry. Yet, I was so inspired by her written words that I decided to try to adapt the poems into song lyrics.

 So is born Audio Art.

In a spark of creative passion to exist, the merging of two artists' work expressed through music and words. It knows no limit. 

J.D. Peterson, 2004

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