X Marks the Sirens

Program Notes
X Marks the Sirens was written for and dedicated to mezzo-soprano, Katherine Crawford. This composition was completed in my home studio in July, 2013. My heartfelt thanks to acclaimed poet and my colleague, Jackie White, for supplying a beautiful text.

X Marks the Sirens by Jackie White

She was what she was
and she knew it.
Fate is often like that.
People don't change.

At the end of her DNA,
an added twist, vixen
gene, where it was
written: men will love

you but you can't
keep them; she took
blue & yellow to green
her colors, but they

saw only red. Her heart
became a shack
for bits of the dead
because the myths repeat

your body will sing
them toward you; their
bodies will break
against rock. A trickle

separates desire, love, or
so it is said. She goes on

crooning: I do not wear
the scent of flowers but flesh,
its musk draws in your animal,
into my hum-howled breath:

Sometimes you have to shut up;
unbelieve what you've read.

"X Marks the Sirens" from Beast Charmers Riddle is used with the permission of Jackie White. ©2013 by Jackie White

Biographical Sketch
Mike McFerron is professor of music and composer-in-residence at Lewis University and he is founder and co-director of Electronic Music Midwest (http://www.emmfestival.org). A past fellow of the MacDowell Colony, Ucross, June in Buffalo, and the Chamber Music Conference of the East/Composers’ Forum, honors include, among others, first prize in the Louisville Orchestra Composition Competition, first prize in the CANTUS commissioning/residency program, recipient of the 2005 CCF Abelson Vocal Music Commission, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “First Hearing” Program. McFerron’s music can be heard on numerous commercial CDs as well as on his website at http://www.bigcomposer.com.

Performer Biographical Sketch
Katherine Crawford, a warm and versatile mezzo-soprano, holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College. She enjoys performing in the styles of opera, operetta, and musical theater, and is especially interested in contemporary and experimental works.

Recently, Ms. Crawford has had the pleasure to perform with the Kansas City Metro Opera, Kansas City Civic Opera, and UMKC Conservatory Opera Theater, specializing in comic and light-lyric roles. She currently sings with the Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Chorale, the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, and is the lead vocalist in The Digital Honk Box Revival, an improvisational electroacoustic music group. As a dedicated church musician, she is a regular cantor and soloist for weddings, funerals, and religious services for multiple denominations.

In addition to performing, Ms. Crawford enjoys helping others explore and realize their vocal potential, and has maintained a private teaching studio since 2003. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she is presently based in Kansas City, Missouri.