The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Matthew Burtner and poet Rita Dove a $30,000 Art Works Grant in the New Media presentation category. Dove and Burtner will create and present “The Ceiling Floats Away,” a work featuring Rita reading her poetry along with Matthew’s instrumental and computer music. In addition, “Nomads,” an original smart phone app designed for the piece will enable audience members to offer their own sound and text contributions in counterpoint with the composed artwork.
The Ceiling Floats Away’ explores creative artwork as a part of living culture, a guide for an emergent public artwork. As the former US Poet Laureate and a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Rita’s work holds a special place in the hearts of the American public. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to set her words to music, and offer this form of public interaction with her poetry through the Nomads technology.