Melinda Mueller Concerto for Anna Maria dal Violin

On October 3, Entre Ríos Books will release Melinda Mueller’s new collection of poems, Mary’s Dust, which includes a digital download of commissioned music by Seattle cellist Lori Goldston. Below we feature a poem and a musical piece from the collaboration. 

—”Dust of a Thousand Bells,” Lori Goldston




Concerto for Anna Maria dal Violin

The body of a violin is mostly air.

Venezia, a city built of water.

With my bow and the Maestro’s music
I shall set that air on fire.

Though you drained Venezia dry
You could not quench that sound.

We foundling girls, we are like our violins—
Of substance, very little.

In our near nothingness the music resonates,

As in the church bells’ open throats,
In the hollow bones of organ pipes,

In the utter emptiness of angels.

They are music, I think—
The angels. Music unfettered
From all earthly instruments.

When I play, I feel their feathers
All about me in the air.

Melinda Mueller trained as a biologist and is on the science faculty at Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences. Her most recent book, What the Ice Gets: Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916 (Van West & Company) received a 2001 Washington State Book Award and the American Library Notable Books Award for Poetry in 2002. Her other books of poetry are Private Gallery (Seal Press, 1976),  Asleep in Another Country (Jawbone Press, 1979), and Apocrypha (Grey Spider Press, 1988). Melinda was a coauthor of an early list of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species of Washington State.

Classically trained and rigorously de-trained, possessor of a restless, semi-feral spirit, Lori Goldston is a cellist, composer, improvisor, producer, writer and teacher from Seattle. Her voice as a cellist, amplified or acoustic, is full, textured, committed and original. A relentless inquirer, she wanders recklessly across borders that separate genre, discipline, time and geography, performing in clubs, cafes, galleries, arenas, concert halls, sheds, ceremonies, barbecues, and stadiums. You can listen to and learn more about Lori’s work at her site, LoriGoldston.com.