Songs of Fatherhood
"Songs of Fatherhood" was premiered on February 7, 2014. The music by David V. Montoya sets poetry by William Wallis and was presente with artwork by London-based artist Lorato Mastebroek. Poetry and artwork for each song can be found below.
Scores are available for purchase from MusicSpoke and recordings can be purchased via iTunes.
I. Little Fish
Your first breath seemed
To me the breath of God.
Pale and pure, it flooded
The surface of my face.
As you hesitated that moment
Head turning up, body still buried
In your mother’s flesh,
The land of my heart formed.
Your eyes opened—skies appeared.
Restless, to taunt the spirit,
Your shoulder lifted within
And a whole, perfect image
Slipped from sea to air.
Then all things formed about you,
Little fish writhing in first light,
Little angel of my heart.
II. So, Little Rabbit
So, little rabbit, got you!
I’ll hold you down
And kiss you anyway.
You won’t escape
My bear love so easily--
I see the half-hid smile
Beneath the playful
Struggle to escape.
I cling now; I know
Soon you’ll be too old for this,
Except in ceremony.
But I will always steal in
While you sleep here
To inhale your hair’s
Fragrance, measure your breath’s
Calm raid on my senses.
The universe was once music
And stories were visions
Of innocence and joy
And the inherent beauty of the sun.
In dance we found new rhythms,
Discovered how to move, to dream
In the shifting space between us,
And await the slow approach of longing.
Every friend was a melody
Seeking a new voice--
Holding her hand was so new,
And we made that first loving choice.
And then suddenly it appeared--
That dream in harmony
With this world, with life itself,
And we shared that sacred dream in song.
IV. Fly Free By Day, Swim Deep At Night
I wake in a net of lost chances
Drawn close about rising fears;
Yet there is peace in design—distance,
Repetition, even ancient arrears.
You leave again tomorrow
To later return from distant places
And free my thought from old sorrow
Determined by the god of long races.
There is no need to ask why parting goes on
When joyous pain prolongs such flight;
I do not think I will die today, dear son,
But even so—fly free by day, swim deep at night.
V. Eternal Laughter
And so, father, you have gone
Where I must one day follow,
And my son’s love for you alone
Is set apart, now, by sorrow.
Every son hopes death will pass on by,
But must accept the cold fact
That at daybreak or eventide
He must bury old dreams, and act.
And so, old Dad, I salute your past,
And seek in this still photograph
What the sly camera could not catch--
Your joyful, echoing, eternal laugh.
William Wallis (b. 1946) was born in the American South and educated at Hendrix College, Southern Illinois University, the University of Nebraska (Ph.D.in Literary Criticism and Creative Writing, 1972), and the Hanover Conservatory (Opera Performance). He has published twenty volumes of poetry and prose. His volumes Joshua (1994), Twins (1996), and Selected Poems 1969-99 (2000) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Poetry Division. In 2006, his novel Hawk won the Benjamin Franklin Award in Popular Fiction of the Independent Publishers of America. (His works are available on Amazon.com.) He lives with his wife Leslie and their four children just off the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, where he is a cycling enthusiast.
David V. Montoya (b. 1968) received a bachelor’s degree in music education from California State University, Los Angeles, and a master of music degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. He currently teaches at La Habra High School (CA) where he teaches choral music, guitar, piano, AP Music Theory, and ukulele. His compositions range from a cappella and accompanied choral music (from the silly to the sacred) to works for voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano. Montoya lives his musical life in the Los Angeles, CA area, with his wife Patricia, and his three boys, David Thomas, Joseph and Matthew. Montoya studies composition with his dear friend and teacher, noted author/composer, William Allaudin Mathieu. He is also the caretaker of the library of scores by his friend and teacher George Heussenstamm. For more information about David V. Montoya and his music, please visit www.MontoyaMusic.com.
Lorato Mastebroek (b. 1983) earned a BA in Film, Television and New Media Studies and an MA in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam. Since graduation she has moved to London and been involved in various projects in the area. Recently, illustration has grown into an area of increasing interest for her. Lorato came to this project via Facebook, further showcasing the extent of the collaborative aspect of the project.