Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love

Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love

Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love

Maura Kennedy

UPC: 030206733983
Release Date: 05/12/2015

$ 13.98 was


Last year, I read a short story by California author and poet B.D. Love. It was written under his nom de plume, Lan Yan, and was included in a collection enigmatically entitled A Day in the Life of a Severed Head. In the book, the aforementioned head sparks a Decameron-style round of stories, and one of them, “Stitches,” inspired me to write a song using B.D.’s dialogue and literary characters. I went to sleep after reading the text, and “dream-incubated” the imagery. To my surprise, when I awoke, I not only jotted down the entire song, but in sonnet form! An idea was hatched. B.D. would provide me with original poetry, making no attempt to construct typical song forms. Anything from free verse to structures tightly composed, even traditional, would be fair game. And my ground rule? I had to weave his words into melodies without changing their form; without turning them into ballads, and so on. This would be a challenge, one that could produce a new kind of song where rhythm and phrasing follow poetic image, rather than the other way around.

I found the task invigorating, and five and a half weeks later, this project was fully written and recorded. My mind and voice were refreshed with new angles and viewpoints on how a song might be constructed, and the further challenge was to hide any seams; no odd meters or oblique melodies, no traps set for the listener. Just pure melodies. This was writing to complex forms while sounding simple and classic. Ever sing along to a villanelle, the old French troubadour form that is tortuous to compose, but a keen pleasure to sing? You will have your chance as soon as you spin this disc. The goal was to work very hard so that the listener doesn’t hear my effort, and when I mentioned this to B. D., he said, “That’s exactly what I do with my words!” We hope you find as much joy in listening to these fifteen songs as we did in creating them.

-Maura Kennedy, New York City



1. Villanelle (3:08)
2. Bicycles With Broken Spokes (5:18)
3. Darling Cutter (4:05)
4. I Cried To Dream Again (3:47)
5. Fireflies (2:52)
6. Soldier’s Wife (4:30)
7. Be The One (3:54)
8. Mockingbird (4:04)
9. She Worked Her Magic On Me (4:05)
10. Borrowed Dress (4:39)
11. Coyotes (5:54)
12. Father To The Man (4:46)
13. I’ll Be Alone Tonight (4:08)
14. Breathe Deeply, Love (2:45)
15. Beneath The Mistletoe (3:36)