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Thomas Merton - Contemplative Poet

The composer/pianist James D’Angelo has had a long standing interest in Thomas Merton, both the monk himself and his writings. As a writer of many songs, D’Angelo became especially drawn to Merton’s voluminous poetry. The poems that particularly attracted him were those that quite directly expressed the deepest ideas of  a contemplative spiritual life. 

Since 1995 he has set nine poems of Merton to music for either baritone or soprano voice with piano. They include In Silence, Evening Prayer, Song for Nobody, Stranger and Song: If You Seek. They were premiered at the 2017 International Thomas Merton Society conference. Six of these songs will be presented for this evening’s presentation with the soprano DerShin Hwang and the composer at the piano.

The songs will be interspersed with Stephen Dunhill talking about Merton’s life work and witness. He has had a lifelong interest in Thomas Merton since the age of 27 when his father, an Anglican clergyman, gave him a copy of Merton’s autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, with the words, ‘I think it is about time you read this.’ Since then Merton has been his Christian guide for nearly 40 years. He is currently Chair of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain & Ireland, and co-editor of The Merton Journal.

Entry: By Donation.

Led by The Study Society

Held at Colet House in the East Studio

Saturday - 18 / 05 / 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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