Emergence: Emily Dickinson

Nicole Panizza (Director), Nadine Benjamin (Performer)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchDigital or Visual Media

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Dr Nicole Panizza, piano (UK)
Ms Nadine Benjamin, soprano (UK)

Featured poet/texts - Emily Dickinson

Featured composers

Luigi Zaninelli (1932-) | USA
Aaron Copland (1900-1990) | USA
Juliana Hall (1958-) | USA
Sylvia Glickman (1932-2006) | USA
Ella Jarman-Pinto (1989-) | UK

Featured works

12 Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950-1951) – Aaron Copland
Seven Epigrams of Emily Dickinson (2003) – Luigi Zaninelli
To Meet a Flower (2009) – Juliana Hall
A Northeast Storm (2015) – Juliana Hall
In Reverence (1985) – Juliana Hall
Black Cake (1994) – Sylvia Glickman
This Little Rose (2010) – Ella Jarman-Pinto

Additional Information

Emergence: Emily Dickinson is practice-research inspired by art song settings of Emily Dickinson’s literary oeuvre. Devised, curated, and performed by pianist Nicole Panizza and soprano Nadine Benjamin, the output consists of a studio-recorded album.

This research critically reflects on the process of curating the breadth of Dickinson’s texts via sonic modality; investigates and promotes the wider catalogue of art-song settings based on her work; explores the notion of ‘emergence’ through song preparation and performance; and via creative dissemination of the research material, brings Dickinson’s signature language to new audiences.

The work draws on recorded song collections inspired by Dickinson’s literary canon (Robin, 2012; A Certain Slant of Light, 2017; Wild Lines: Improvising Emily, 2018), and innovative art-song presentation (The Darker Mirror: Zender’s Winterreise, 2018). Whilst many emphasise singular written themes and musical genres, this recording serves as a distinctive anthology: the merging of Dickinson’s full textual scope with a broad account of complementary musical response.

The album derives from the curation of idiosyncratic examples drawn from Dickinson’s catalogue (poem, letter, epigram, recipe), and select examples of both seminal and unpublished art song settings of this material. Critical literary considerations such as device, form, punctuation, syntax, meter, and prosody guide this process. Key performance strategies such as breath, gesture, phraseology, and identity are explored in real time; revealing hidden contours of meaning within the poet and composer’s creative practice that, when experienced through recorded song praxis, become ‘visible’.

This research reveals Dickinson’s diverse literary legacy, and promotes practice and scholarship of the lineage of musical setting and performance of her work; thereby rendering fresh possibilities for contemporary ‘readings’ of her creative corpus beyond more traditional scholarly and inter-medial platforms. Emergence: Emily Dickinson features in international peer-referred performances, broadcasts, and presentations and was nominated for a 2020 International Classical Music Award.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherStone Records
Media of outputCD
Size1 hour 17 mins
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2019


  • Emily Dickinson
  • American song
  • Music Performance
  • American literature
  • American music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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  • Emergence Music

    Panizza, N. & Benjamin, N.

    1/02/18 → …

    Project: Research

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