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Woven Words

By Mandy King — April 25, 2013

Miller_Alex_portraitIn our digital age, it’s easy for authors to share their ‘writing playlists’. Everyone from Stephenie Meyer of Twilight fame to renowned science writer Carl Zimmer has tipped their hats to the songs they listened to while writing their bestselling books.

These lists intrigue me.  What types of songs inspire authors to put pen to paper? How do musical compositions influence the written word?

Lucky for us, this Saturday’s Woven Words event in NewActon will bring together the power of music and words.  Three authors will present their stories and poems in combination with hand-selected music performed by an ensemble of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

And we’re not talking about just your traditional classic music either. Writers Alex Miller (top right), Sara Dowse and Alan Gould have paired their readings with a wide range of music, including contemporary piano, jazz and flamenco.

Says Irma Gold, Editor and Project Manager of the anthology: “We are delighted to bring together three of Australia’s finest writers from The Invisible Thread anthology with a quartet from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra for this very special event. The interplay of literature and music promises to create a sublime and memorable evening.”

To find out more about this event, I had a chat with David Caffery. David is the Events Manager for New Acton and he’s been working with Irma from the start on the Woven Words event.

David was moved by the stories and poems in The Invisible Thread anthology. Studying ancient Greek mythology at the time, David was captivated by the idea that various art forms can enhance once other.

Adam-Cook“One text I studied talked about using multiple art-forms from the same impetus to stimulate a sense of the sublime. It’s like pointing from lots of angles at one thing. The more arrows, the more acute the sense of that thing.” For David, the Woven Words event encapsulates this idea.

The event will be unique and thought-provoking in many ways. For example, writer Sara Dowse is also an artist and several of her pieces will be hanging in the Nishi Gallery for the event, bringing yet another artistic element into play. The Nishi Gallery has been outfitted with a grand piano for the compositions that will bookend Alex Miller’s reading. Keep your eye out for the quick-fingered Adam Cook (below right) on the piano.

The gallery lends itself perfectly to this event, says David. “Not only does the sound bounce and linger, but it offers a contemplative venue for the audience to absorb the performances.”

If, like me, you’ve ever wondered how music inspires writers, grab your tickets fast, folks. Woven Words is a one-of-a-kind event, guaranteed to delight your ears and leave you pondering the lines between music and words.

Join authors Alex Miller, Sara Dowse and Alan Gould alongside leading classical, jazz and flamenco musicians. Nishi Gallery, Saturday 27 April, 7.30pm. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit  

About Author

Mandy King hails from Boulder, Colorado in the United States where she ran the events and marketing program at one of the nations’ largest independent bookstores. Mandy was a founding member of Downtown Boulder’s Social Media Advisory Council, which advises small businesses, government organisations, entrepreneurs and start-ups on how to build community through social media. Though her passport may be from the United States, she calls Australia home these days. She currently works at the ACT Writers Centre.

View all Mandy King posts.

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