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On Tour: Walt Whitman's Lyrics of Love and Soul

Our full-band album, "Full of Life Now: Songs of Walt Whitman"- joyfully shares Whitman’s timeless, still-radical words!  We continue to set Whitman’s poetry to music, honoring Whitman’s own lyrical rhythm and metre in our original musical settings. 

  
Walt Whitman wrote radical, body-as-sacred lyrics as a young man before the U.S. Civil War that are still radical today—maybe even more radical today: 
  
It seems to me there are other men, in other lands, 
yearning and thoughtful… 
It seems to me I can look over and behold them, 
in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and far, far away in China, or in Russia, or Japan,
talking other dialects: 
and it seems to me, if I could know those men, 
I would become attached to them as I do men in my own lands— 
Oh, I know we would be brethren and lovers! 
I know I would be happy with them! 

  
One day by chance we pulled those lyrics off the bookshelf, and it was literally like the poet himself was whispering to us, telling us it was time for a baritone to sing his lines out loud—and sing them, finally, the passionate way they were meant to be sung, with all the sexuality and soulfulness intact, for a new century. 
 
One song led to the next, until we had at least a couple album’s worth of amazing, passionate songs -- the way the poet would think are sexy and soulful in the way he was sexy and soulful, the way he meant his songs to be sung—as anthems to a new millennium: 
  
Be not afraid of my body! I am he who aches with amorous love!
 

That was the beginning of our Full of Life Now album, finished in time to start getting the songs known and celebrated for 2010, the 150th anniversary of “Calamus,” the third volume of “Leaves of Grass” where most of the poems come from. We've debuted the songs at our UCLA concert, and we've been taking them on the road, from Los Angeles, to New York City, and to Italy at the International Walt Whitman Conference.

Join us in daring celebration of a new spirit of soulful loving.




Please contact us with inquiries about performing! We are dedicated to sharing and amplifying Whitman's vision, and would love to share his lyrics, and our music, with your community, as part of our tour.

Stephan and Gary

 
Portrait of Walt Whitman © Jane van Loon

Portrait of Walt Whitman © Jane van Loon