HEARING MUSIC IN POETRY AND TURNING IT TO SONG LIZ QUELER AND SETH FARBER’S ‘STILL WILL BE HEARD’ PREMIERES AT PEAK PERFORMANCES, JUNE 6-15
“Still Will Be Heard,” a new work by Liz Queler and Seth Farber that gloriously exemplifies the power of art to also inspire the creation of art, receives its world premiere at Peak Performances, June 6-15.
Queler serendipitously discovered the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay while caring for her father who was dying of Alzheimer’s. Millay’s poetic power over Queler’s musical imagination was an immeasurable boon through those times. While often a bleak period for Queler, hearing music singing through Millay’s poetry, Queler became obsessed with finding a way to set the poetry to her own sound. And she did.
Combining elements of folk, bluegrass, country, rock and jazz interspersed with spoken word, and performed by actors and musicians, the songs in “Still Will Be Heard” are by turns dark, playful, fierce, but most important, life-affirming. Their sway-inspiring rhythms give new vitality and relevance to Millay’s great work.
The hour and a half production is directed by Mindy Cooper, with music direction by Seth Farber, who along with his wife Liz Queler, also composed the music. The projection design is by S. Katy Tucker. The performers are Liz Queler, Donna Vivino and Michael Paternostro. The musicians are Liz Queler (guitar/mandolin/vocals), Seth Farber (piano/vocals), Steve Count (bass), Gerald Menke (guitar), Don Peretz (drums) and David Finch (violin).
Times: June 6, 13 at 7:30pm, June 7, 14 at 8:00pm, June 8, 15 at 3:00pm
Where To Go
The Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043. Tickets are $20, and are available at the box office, www.peakperfs.org, or by calling 973-655-5112. The box office opens July 1. Charter bus service is provided from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655- 5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org. For train service, available only on weekdays, go online to www.njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555. For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit www.destinationmontclair.com.
Programs in this season are made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council for the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts; Discover Jersey Arts; the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Dance Project (NDP) of the New England Foundation for the Arts.
LIZ QUELER Described by Billboard as “a singer’s singer,” the award-winning Liz Queler has written and performed everything from jazz standards to jingles. She has garnered critical acclaim for her four albums and made her Carnegie Hall debut in Fall 2002 as a soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s “MASS.”
A native New Yorker and the daughter of opera conductor Eve Queler, Liz Queler grew up on the stages of Lincoln Center as a member of the NYC Opera Children’s Chorus. After graduating from Tufts University, she attended Berklee College of Music to study jazz piano and guitar. Liz then followed her songwriting muse back to New York where she gained entrance as backup singer for Red House recording artist Cliff Eberhardt. Liz has played many of the high profile festivals and clubs, such as the Newport Folk Festival, the Kerrville Folk Festival, The Bottom Line in NYC and The Birchmere in Washington, DC. She’s also opened for many artists including Richie Havens, Jessie Winchester, Steve Forbert, Janis Ian and Guy Clark.
Queler’s second CD “Silent Witness” was released by Palmetto Records who also recorded her third CD before dissolving their singer/songwriter division. Signed to Bug Music (administrator of her copyrights) Liz is a winner of top songwriting awards from Billboard and the National Academy of Popular Music. She also took first place in the Lady Six String Songwriting Contest. As a studio singer and composer Liz keeps busy, with commercial jingles (Meow Mix, Exxon, Sprite and Estroven) and an array of soundtracks from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Barney’s Great Adventure” to the PBS American Masters series biography on Lucille Ball for which she sang the great Rodgers and Hart standard “My Funny Valentine.” Her song “Raised on Love” co-written with her husband, pianist Seth Farber, and their then ten year old son Joey, appeared in HBO’s Rosie O’Donnell special “A Family is a Family is a Family.” Queler currently sings and plays mandolin with the Grammy nominated children’s rock band sensation “Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could.”
SETH FARBER As music director for the late folk/blues legend Odetta, Farber spent much of the last decade touring, arranging, producing and playing piano in concert and on her last three recordings, including Grammy-nominated “Blues Everywhere I Go” and “Gonna Let It Shine.” In his spare time he was assistant conductor and keyboardist for the six year run of the Broadway musical “Hairspray.” Seth currently tours with the Grammy nominated children’s rock band sensation “Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could”. Raised in New York City by musician parents, Farber began his career in the blues and rock clubs on Bleecker Street, ultimately landing a position as musical director for Willy “Mink” DeVille, with whom he logged over 30 European tours. He has recorded and performed with numerous other artists including Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Roseanne Cash, Chip Taylor, Cliff Eberhardt and Joan Osborne. A composer in his own right, Farber’s music has been used extensively by many networks including HBO, PBS, VH1, Biography, MTV, Bravo, Comedy Central and Animal Planet. His critically acclaimed release, “Late One Night” is a solo piano CD which nods in the direction of Dr. John, Professor Longhair and jazz legend Gene Harris. Farber blends New Orleans blues, jazz and ragtime into a soulful gumbo which Dirty Linen called “nothing short of excellent.”