A project that originated as a “teaching idea” from two active artist-teachers, Confluence demonstrates a vital conversation between original music and poems that include J.D. Scrimgeour’s “Ogunquit,” Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Blue Light Lounge Sutra …,” Alan Feldman’s “Pavane,” and translations of Rilke by David Young and Edward Snow.
J.D. Scrimgeour is the author of a collection of poetry, The Last Miles (2005) and two books of creative nonfiction, Spin Moves(2000) and Themes For English B: A Professor’s Education In and Out of Class (2006), which won the Association of Writers &Writing Programs (AWP) Award for Creative Nonfiction. His poetry has appeared in such magazines as Poetry, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, River Styx, Tar River Poetry, Connecticut Review, and Diner, and it has won awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters, the Academy of American Poets, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. His nonfiction has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Creative Nonfiction. Scrimgeour has long had an interest in integrating writing with other art forms, and he has collaborated on and performed interdisciplinary works with photographer Kim Mimnaugh and choreographer Caitlin Corbett as well as musician Philip Swanson. Scrimgeour is a professor of English at Salem State College, where he serves as Coordinator of Creative Writing. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from Columbia University, and an M.F.A. in poetry and Ph.D. in English from Indiana University.
Philip Swanson maintains a distinguished career as a trombonist, pianist, organist, composer, conductor and teacher. After completing his undergraduate work at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Miami, he received a Doctor of Musical Arts from New England Conservatory, a Master of Music from the Eastman School. As a trombonist, he has performed with the Miami Philharmonic, where he served as principal for five years, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Opera Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and numerous other orchestras and ensembles. He is founder of the brass chamber ensemble Morgenmusik, which features trumpet virtuoso and Eastman professor James Thompson, and performs regularly with several jazz groups including Chamber Jazz Trio and Bob Nieske’s Big Wolf Project. Mr. Swanson appears frequently in concert as a solo pianist, performing his own works as well as his improvisations on jazz standards and in collaboration with poet J.D. Scrimgeour. Swanson has composed numerous works for instrumental and vocal ensembles, and can be heard on a wide range of recordings, including two solo piano albums of original works, an organ and trombone CD with organist Barbara Bruns, several small group jazz albums, and performances with larger ensembles, including the Boston Pops under John Williams. Currently an Associate Professor of Music at Salem State College, Philip Swanson teaches music theory, composition, piano and trombone. Since 1991, he has been Music Director of the First Congregational Church of Rockport, Massachusetts, where he serves as organist and choir director.