• Nazifa Islam

Musical Ekphrasis: "No Forecast of Rain" by The Soloists

I’m about to announce month-old news! Aren’t you excited? Aren’t your eyes wide with barely-contained glee? Isn’t this the kind of build-up you wish every single blog post led with? Okay, I’ll stop being clever now. Or “clever” is probably more accurate.

Ahem. Anyways.

In order to properly explain this news I need to introduce you to The Soloists. They’re a band from Novi, Michigan made up of the talented Eric VanBuhler and Pat Kochyan. The three of us went to high school together actually, and they’re not only the nicest dudes, but they make really great music together. If you only listen to one of their songs—though that’s madness in my opinion—you should check out “Drawn to the Sea” from Before You Go. It’s good stuff. Eric and Pat write and perform their own solo work as well, which is equally good stuff. You should go check out all those links and fall down a nice musical rabbit hole for a bit. I’ll wait.

Back? Okay, good.

Now, way back in 2013, The Soloists posted a video concert to Youtube. Before doing this, they asked their adoring fans to write in and tell them where they planned to watch the concert from. They did a drawing with the names of everyone who responded and I somehow—I say “somehow” because I never ever win things—managed to capture the Grand Prize, which was having a personalized song written for me. Fancy exciting stuff.

Many moons later on November 4, 2014—this is the bona fide month-old news—The Soloists released “No Forecast of Rain.” That title might sound familiar to you. Probably not. Maybe, but probably not. Don’t worry, I’ll enlighten you: “No Forecast of Rain” is the title of a poem from Searching for a Pulse. The entire song is based on Searching for a Pulse.

Isn’t that crazy and awesome and a little mind boggling? Not only did Eric and Pat get out of having to find words that rhyme with Nazifa, but I now get to say that there is a song out there based on my book. I don’t think too many people in the world can say that.

I’m obviously very into this song—that chorus gets stuck in my head—and very flattered by the amount of time Eric and Pat must have spent with Searching for a Pulse in order to write it. I think it’s worth a listen—it’ll only cost you three minutes and twenty-eight seconds of your time. You can even download it if you’re so inclined.

I also find it really interesting to have a real example of musical ekphrasis in front of me—to listen to how poems have been translated into song. I’m fairly familiar with the source material, which probably helps with the awe and amazement factor, but I think it’s a good tune even if you haven’t read the book. Hopefully you agree.