Early Music Seattle’s Weekly Newsletter


For All Our Sisters: Part 2

For All Our Sisters continues to weave together music, poetry, interviews, and dance to help us understand the powerful women in our collective past and present—especially those whose voices have been silenced by history’s (mostly male) gatekeepers and myth-makers. Each Friday in Clef Notes and through our social media channels, Early Music Seattle will be presenting For All Our Sisters. Stay tuned as the stories unfold.

Interview with Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna and poet and librettist Jennifer Bullis, speak to the power of poetry in overcoming barriers and offering people a voice in these turbulent times.

Click to view Claudia Castro Luna’s reading of her poem, Bowed Seas

Bowed Seas

Women have chanted
across the ages
the same songs
songs of milk and bloom
of water and salt
laughing songs
and songs of longing
and belonging
chants spun
from skeins of light
from cords of wood

Across the ages
women have
chanted what they know,
an anthology of suffering
in antiquity some sang
from a Greek island
their voices widening azure seas,
on a plaza in Buenos Aires
they sang with their feet
around and around
the island that became
Plaza de Mayo
marching for their disappeared
sons and daughters,
in Rwandan villages
the length of 100 days
that became an island
of genocide
women howled
for mercy, a cry
the rest of the world
took too long to heed

Across the ages
bird women, fish women,
mad women, whose women?
most often
women not for themselves
singing on islands
kept to themselves
then again,
no matter the weather
women also singing
a catalog of joys
songs of rising bread
songs of the mind’s wild fruits
songs of a certain beloved
rainbow and of glories after rain
songs of budding breasts
and of wombs tender
with planets stirring within

When their sorrow
obscures the sky
other women will rise
when their holler
reaches the moon
other women will rise
voices of the same river
same hands leaning in
across the ages
water of eyes
water of blood
birth water,
tides that bind
bowed seas

~ Claudia Castro Luna



The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air (called wind) through the organ pipes selected from a keyboard. Because each pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass. Most organs have many ranks of pipes of differing timbre, pitch, and volume that the player can employ singly or in combination through the use of controls called stops. Read more on Wikipedia…

Click image to hear All Bach On the Flentrop which was to feature Seattle Baroque Orchestra Music Director Alex Weimann playing an All Bach performance on the Flentrop Organ at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in partnership with the Cathedral’s All Bach series. However, due to covid-19, this performance has been postponed one year to Friday, May 14, 2021. Mark your calendars, and if you have bought tickets to this concert, they will be honored next year.

In lieu of Alex’s concert, and because Bach is as essential as ever, Michael Kleinschmidt, Canon for Cathedral Music at Saint Mark’s, offers a 70-minute program featuring three of Bach’s famous Toccatas and Fugues, and Bach’s monumental Passacaglia. Enjoy!

For information about the Saint Mark’s Flentrop click here


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You may know that EMS is producing a series of videos to replace the For All Our Sisters concert, which would have taken place this month. One of the amazing performers making that transition from live to digital is Claudia Castro Luna – Washington State’s Poet Laureate and Seattle’s first Civic Poet from 2015-2017, and recipient of the Academy of American Poets Laureate fellowship in 2019.

Claudia curates Poems to Lean On, a page where anyone can submit a poem to share with others, “… poems that offer fortitude, hope, resilience, humor.”  She writes, “It is at liminal times that we most lean on poetry: weddings, births, inaugurations, graduations, funerals. Times of transitions, times of change, times thick with emotion. This is such a time.”

Reinforcing for us how Poetry is part of the flow (or stride) of life, Washington Trails Association has a page devoted to Poetry and Paths: 6 Poets to Read on Your Next Hike, with Claudia featured under “Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop — Claudia Castro Luna.” You could explore the benefits of digital recording, by downloading and listening to Claudia’s work like “Maps of this city/number in the thousands/unique and folded/neatly inside each citizen’s/heart.”as you hike, or drive to the trail head!


We will be sharing news and details of For All our Sisters over the next weeks, so this playlist will highlight some other works by Claudia.

This Week’s Selections

Click on above image to connect to Early Music Seattle’s Spotify page
Claudia Castro Luna interviews

Audio and Podcast



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“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”
~  Plato