Ceiling Floats Away

Ceiling Floats Away

Coulter Stage




University of Virginia

Performers: Matthew Burtner, Travis Thatcher, Lisa Edwards-Burrs, John Mayhood, Kelly Sulick, Shawn Earle, and Kevin Davis

The Ceiling Floats Away was commissioned by an NEA Art Works Grant and premiered in 2016 at the Atlas Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The piece features Matthew Burtner’s musical settings of 13 poems by Rita Dove. Burtner recorded Dove reading her poetry and wrote the music to the pace and cadence of the poet’s voice. The piece can be performed with Dove’s recorded voice or the poetry can be read live with the instrumental ensemble. Instrumentation includes flute/piccolo, Bb soprano saxophone or Bb clarinet, soprano voice, piano, and cello.