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Angel City Jazz Fest: How Eloise Klein Healy's poetry inspired a young LA composer's work

Pianist and composer Cathlene Pineda.
Pianist and composer Cathlene Pineda.
Courtesy Angel City Jazz Fest

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Musicians can find inspiration in a multitude of places.

For one young pianist and composer in Los Angeles, the poetry of L.A.'s first poet laureate, Eloise Klein Healy, formed the basis of a new work debuting at the Angel City Jazz Festival. 

The Cathlene Pineda Quartet will perform her new original composition — commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society — based on Healy's poem, "Passing."

"It's a pretty clear message about the brevity of life, how it goes by so fast. It's kind of this unsentimental way of writing it," Pineda said in an interview with The Frame. "You find yourself thinking about it after the poem is read...I loved the musical implication of that."


These are the days that must happen
to you, Mr. Whitman says.

And the nights passing in succession
like images on film––

old movie star moon
filling up each frame then going into hiding.

People don't live long enough
to see the end

of their experiments.
At 24 frames a second it's soon over––

fireflies in the meadow,
games of children flickering in the park.

Pineda will be joined by Kris Tiner on trumpet, Paul Kikuchi on drums and Dave Tranchina on bass. Click the audio link to hear Pineda talk about what inspired her new work and hear her perform one of the movements, accompanied by Tiner. 

The quartet performs Friday night at Redcat at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival.

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