Van Gogh Inspired Poetry Set to Music

Inspired by van Gogh’s drawing Sorrow, 1882 Ian wrote a series of three poems; his triptych portrays the strained love story between van Gogh and his muse. In this drawing, shown left, van Gogh depicts Sien (Clasina Maria Hoornik).

SorrowIan’s first poem I Miss You is written from Sien’s point of view, while the second poem titled Missing You is written from van Gogh’s point of view. The third poem Missing Siena is written from van Gogh’s view point as he contemplates moving to a new town. Ian’s entire collection of van Gogh inspired poetry is available on the Van Gogh Gallery website: https://www.vangoghgallery.com/misc/ian-henery-poetry.html

 

I Miss You

As the grass awaits the wind
Or the morning sky awaits the sun.
Although I look for you
In every doorway,
I find only darkness
In my heart.

I miss you
As the flowers await the rain
Or the evening sky the stars.
Although I look for you
In every cafe,
I find only emptiness
In my soul.

I miss you
As lungs miss oxygen,
A beating heart blood
And tired eyes sleep.
I miss you, I miss you
And loneliness lingers on:
I miss you.

 

Nina Crecia, a composer from California State University Fullerton came across Ian’s poetry whilst working as an international host on a river cruise in France. She had read ‘The Little Prince’ to guests to give them a cultural education as they docked in Lyon which was so well received that her boss asked her to create a cultural reading hour for each city they docked in.

Crecia writes

“For Arles, of course, van Gogh was the most prominent artist, but writings of him were scarce. Which is how I found your poetry for his painting “Sorrow.” And that became my reading presentation for Arles. Having actually been in Arles and having experienced the special light that it has, which painters have mentioned throughout all ages, I used that as inspiration for the harmonic language of the piece I wrote with your poem.”

 

Crecia set Ian’s poem I Miss You to music for an accompanied choir. In the video below is the performance of the vocal ensemble she put together for her senior composition recital in December.

 

 

About the composer: 

Nina Crecia
B.M. Composition, California State University Fullerton
Lead Student Assistant | Department of Modern Languages & Literatures, CSUF
Prospective Student Coordinator Assistant | School of Music, CSUF

To see more from Nina Crecia, she can be found on her youtube channel and instagram account (@ncrecia).