Poetry and Art Smash Against Life on the 38th Floor

July 31, 2009 at 2:33 am 2 comments

Marcia Pelletiere is not only a founding member of The Accidentals, a prize-winning a capella group based in New York City, but she also happens to be an amazing poet and writer.

About five years ago, Marcia wrote a body of poetry that eventually culminated in a truly original collection of songs – her double CD “Little Noises.”

hudson-riverMarcia wrote twenty-six evocative poems and then called in the troops:  many of her great musician friends, musical luminaries including Joy Askew, Richard Barone, Peter Link, Christy O’Leary, Vernon Reid, Suzzy Roche, Terre Roche, Catherine Russell, and The Accidentals, — and asked them to each set one of her poems to music.

What a herd she caught!  What a gaggle of sounds!  What a stampede of notes and colors and feelings… Oh, what a truly great idea to bring this brood of eclectic artists together in one CD, all corralled by the exquisite words of Ms. Pelletiere.

Marcia recorded a lot of this project in our studio.  I’d known her for years — I had been to many an Accidental concert and seen her at many recording sessions — but it was during Little Noises that we really became friends.

One spring morning, Marcia had scheduled an early morning studio session (in musician language that means anytime before 11 am).  Now, our recording studio is actually in our home – in our apartment on the 38th floor.  (I often wonder if, rather, our home is in our studio…)

I had been up until 3:30 the night before.  I was not in any shape to usher the public into our home, er, I mean, our studio.  But, I figured hey, it was Marcia.  I decided that she could handle my “early morning” sensibility or lack thereof, and not hold it against me too much.  So I greeted Marcia at the door in my old beat up terry bathrobe.

We both enjoyed the spectacle:  I couldn’t even find the matching tie to my green robe, so I had on a jet blue sash garishly tied around my waist.  I sported classic post-performance bed head hair – you know, the kind that sticks up and out in every which way, still full of hardened hair spray.  Finally, I had on my favorite wildly over-sized white slippers that looked ridiculous, but made my feet feel oh-so-happy.  You get the picture.

Well, Marcia got settled in the studio.  I remembered that she liked orange herbal tea with honey, so I asked her if she would like some hot tea.  She affirmed yes, and resolutely, I marched off to the kitchen to tackle tea-making.

Just as the tea was steeping, Marcia came into the kitchen and we talked while I got the honey jar out.  Suddenly, the jar flipped out of my hand, smashed to smithereens, and honey poured all over the floor.  It was a crazy sticky mess.  There I was with frayed edges of my robe trailing and floppy weird slippers all getting stuck in the honey, and we laughed hysterically.

Marcia did the smart thing and escaped back to her session.  I cleaned up the floor and started over.  I made a fresh cup of tea and carefully spooned in honey from a new just-opened jar.  Marcia liked her tea.  She had a good session.

As she was getting ready to leave, we were smiling again about my mishappen morning.  On a whim, I suddenly said to her, “Hey Marcia, you ought to write a poem about this!”  She looked me straight in the eye and said, “ I just might do that!”

The next day, Marcia emailed me her poem about this experience.

You heard my version of the story.  Now here’s Marcia’s:

A portrait/homage to the Julia-ness of it all…called:


Eased into the day on
fluffy slippers purring,
your green, three-pocketed robe
content beneath its sash,
satiny blue —

you heated tea then let it
steep, wild and orange
while cities shimmered
along the river’s sides

and your Titian-hair shone
like gleaming honey spilled recklessly
onto the kitchen floor
to sweeten the morning

by Marcia Pelletiere

P.S.:  Marcia later told me that she NEVER writes poetry on request!  I am so very honored.

To Marcia: Your poem is a rare gem that I will treasure forever.  Thank you, sweet friend, for sharing your brilliance.

Little NoisesFind out more about Marcia Pelletiere

Listen to and Buy her CD Little Noises.

Be an early bird and check out The Accidentals’ Christmas CD on Watchfire Music.

Praise for Little Noises:

rock your body and soul music like you wouldn’t believe
author: Lauren Yaffe
“Little Noises” is BIG, BIG talent. Soulful, spanking arrangements by an awesomely talented line-up of musicians, all with strikingly beautiful voices, some haunting, reedy, rusty, bassy, crystalline…and with kick-ass music to back them up. And not to forget Marcia Pelletiere’s lyrics–intricate, wise, playful, nuanced and, above all, soul-stirring–tying together all the eclectic voices and styles. I don’t know the last time I felt so drawn in, and satisfied, by an album. Every song, EVERY single one, blew me away. If you don’t recognize the names of the musicians but you love the likes of…Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega, Elvis Costello, Joan Armatrading, Peter Gabriel, Janis Joplin…you will certainly love “Little Noises.”

Entry filed under: Art, Inspirational Music, Inspiratus, Performance, Poetry. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jon & Judy  |  August 7, 2009 at 12:09 am

    From Jude: It’s part of the facets of the ‘Jewel’
    From Jon: Loved the story. Loved the poem, particularly 3rd verse. Wade-ing sweetens the time, any time, morning, noon or night!

    • 2. juliawade  |  August 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Jon and Judy! I thought you would appreciate those two views or facets! The whole experience was such a wonderful, funny revelation! Ms. Marcia sure did surprise me when that poem landed in my email in-box. The best part is sharing it! Love to you.


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