Amernet Quartet, Calloway to Premiere Work by Bowdoin’s Shende

The objects upon which Julie Gard's prose poem series "Thin Bits of Evidence" is based

Shende’s song cycle is set to Julie Gard’s prose poem series “Thin Bits of Evidence,” in which each poem is tied to one of the objects above.


Mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway and the Amernet String Quartet will premiere Bowdoin composer Vineet Shende’s new song cycle Thin Bits of Evidence, in a program that also includes Gabriela Ortiz’s Incan-based Balkaah, Janacek’s String Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters,” and Grieg’s String Quartet No. 2 in F Major at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in Studzinski Recital Hall.

Shende’s music is set to a prose poem series by poet Julie Gard, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, who wrote the series after her house was set on fire in an arson attempt by a disturbed neighbor. Gard explains that writing poetry was her coping mechanism in the aftermath of that event, which took place in North Dakota in 2006:

Our neighbor had worked part-time at a thrift shop in town, and I went there one fall afternoon and filled a basket with objects that I felt drawn to in that moment, that connected in my gut to what had happened. At times I felt morbid to write about the fire, to dwell on it, but I also felt powerful whenever I picked up an object from that basket and composed a prose poem.

Following Wednesday’s concert, Gard will present a reading of her works in the faculty room in Massachusetts Hall at 4 p.m. Thursday April 10. Read more.

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