Poetry News

This window makes me feel like singing

By Harriet Staff

Composer John Supko composed and recorded an arrangement of Robert Fitterman’s poem “The Window Makes Me Feel,” which you can listen to here. The poem, in prose and more like a drone than a song, might seem to be a counterintuitive choice of libretto, but according to Supko:

The music, scored for mezzo-soprano, keyboards, percussion and electronics, is a partial setting of Robert Fitterman’s enormous and beautiful poem of the same name. In his work, Fitterman uses the phrase “This window makes me feel” as the basis of hundreds of Google searches in which the results complete the sentence over and over again, creating over time a unique portrait of humanity. Sometimes funny, sometimes mundane, often surprisingly meaningful, the text accumulates a poignancy that I found intriguing. I also saw in it a simple musical structure, with the title phrase acting as a ‘refrain’ and each search result comprising the 'verses.' I applied this structure to the musical setting in which the mezzo-soprano sings “This window makes me feel” continuously in long, slow phrases while a recorded voice whispers the rest of the text.

Originally Published: March 22nd, 2011