Today sees the release of the latest project from Diagrams’ Sam Genders, the former frontman of experimental folk band Tunng. Dorothy finds Genders pursuing his love of poetry as he collaborates with 90-year- old Washington State-based poet, Dorothy Trogdon, from whom the album takes its name. While her age may lead you to think she’s a long established poet, she was in her mid-80s when she had her first full-length collection of poetry published Tall Woman Looking (published by Blue Begonia Press ). It was this publication that brought about their collaboration, with Genders finding a connect between her poetry and themes he’d previously explored in his music.
Watch his latest video for ‘I Tell Myself’ above, the third single from the album and which was Directed by Ewan Jones Morris.
Talking further about the experience of the collaboration Sam Genders shared “I’ve never been involved in a project quite like this, but it’s one of the most inspiring musical experiences I’ve had…Dorothy and I have both written about nature, our inner worlds, doubts and insecurities and we both like to touch on the scientific. I feel she would understand my occasional feelings of bewilderment at life, yet we share a sense of wonder and gratefulness for it through the experiences we’ve had.”
Putting her own poems to music was a new idea for Dorothy. A former Harvard architecture graduate and designer who began writing poetry on the side until she and her husband moved to Orcas Island north of Seattle, she, along with Sam, may have been a stranger to the musical and poetic fusion before them, but they shared a fascination with exploring the abstract; “As Sam reached out to me, I quickly felt my work was in respectful hands,” tells Dorothy. “We understood each other, were compatible in our means of expression. When we finally met in person here on Orcas Island, so far away from Britain, our friendship only deepened. My poems were out in the world seeking a reader, they met Sam who replied with music, and a conversation began. Which is how all creation starts. We make nothing new alone.”