The full sweep of the poems of W. B. Yeats has now found musical form. For the last twenty-two years, Douglas Saum has been "laboring in ecstasy" creating and producing recordings of this material. He has performed these songs at Yeats themed gatherings in San Francisco, Reno, New York, Chestertown NY, Sligo, Dublin (Ohio), Dublin (Ireland), etc. With a cast of twenty to thirty musicians and speakers, Saum offers up nearly three-hundred pieces on nine CD's, all set to his original music.
On September 30, 1996 Douglas Lee Saum prepared for work as usual, shower, shave, daily vitamins, etc. When he looked at his Cuala Press water-colored litho of W. B. Yeats' poem "The Fiddler of Dooney," however, it ceased to be a normal day.
This day he did not just read the words, it was as if the poem sang to him. A clear, distinct melody rang out in his head as he read the first two lines.
"That's unusual," thought Douglas as he realized he was late and must leave. In the car, before he travelled the two miles to school where he taught English, the entire melody for this poem had presented itself. "Cool beans," he thought "but I'll never remember it."
To make the story short, he did remember it. In fact, in the next nine years he got quite used to the poems of W. B. Yeats singing their melodies to him. Not all of the poems, certainly, but about two hundred and seventy of them . . . so far. And so he began to record these songs and is sharing them with the world.
The latest cd from Douglas Lee Saum.
43 tracks, 2 CDs. Words by William Butler Yeats,
music by Douglas Lee Saum
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Douglas Lee Saum: Last Songs
Doug Saum’s 2CD set comprises his musical arrangements for W B Yeats’ poems. They open the listener to the reflective and wide-ranging nature of these last songs, their philosophy and insight. They are last songs not only for the poet but also for the composer in this final of ‘Saum Sings Yeats’ series...
—Roslyn Mackay, author of "W.B. Yeats and the Upanishads"
Essay by Douglas Lee Saum
in Yeats 150
Edited by Declan J. Foley
This remarkably wide-ranging collection honours the poet Yeats and those who have lectured and tutored across the world on the man and his work. The US, Canada, UK, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand and Australia are represented in the essays.
Douglas presented his essay at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.
"Wisdom is a butterfly." - W. B. Yeats
Follow the informal introspective exploration of what inspired Douglas Lee Saum to create his music publishing company, Barbarous Generation Music, and to write nearly 300 musical compositions dedicated to the words of William Butler Yeats.