Some Advice and a Song from Michael Butler

23, April 2012 § Leave a comment

Michael Butler, curator of the Sidney Cooper Gallery at  Canterbury Christ Church College in Canterbury, England recently visited  Greece and dropped by the Aegean Center.  Traveling with his wife, Claire, they felt the need for some sunshine and came to renew their acquaintance with the landscape which Michael had backpacked through many years ago. Michael was introduced to John Pack when the exhibit, The Greater Journey, with John’s photographs and poetry by Peter Abbs, was hosted by the Sidney Cooper Gallery in 2008.

We urged Michael to give us a short talk on whatever topic he wished.  We were treated to an abbreviated summary of his career choices (as a youth he sang with Benjamin Britten),  an inventory of suggestions for artists when approaching a gallery, and a lovely song which he adapted from Purcell’s Fairest Isle and to which he wrote new words reflecting his Paros stay. He sang this a cappella in a lovely high baritone.  We include his lyrics here:

To Paros

Fairest Isle
All dreams excelling
Source of beauties
And of love.

*
The Gods’ own blessings
Fell upon it
Crowned with glories
Wreathed in light.

*
Artemis and Apollo’s
Temples
Marbled Halls
With statues bold.

*
Speak of times where
Man’s invention
Chimed in union
With this world.

His best advice:  your CV is not a list of what you have done but an invitation to live fully and fill in the blank spaces as you go.

Thank you, Mike.

– Jane Pack

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