In the Hands
Paul Cantrell’s music
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Todd Harper: Questions

Perhaps it would have been better if I’d just admitted to myself (and the world) that I’d be taking the summer off from In the Hands. But where’s the fun without the suspense?

Here’s what I currently have in the pipeline (not necessarily in this order):

  • Some newly composed pieces of my own.
  • A new recording of at least some part of The Broken Mirror of Memory, my bass clarinet / piano work.
  • A fine new recording from Don Betts.
  • The remaining remasterings of my older recordings.

…And that’s my autumn of music pretty well booked up right there.

First, however, is the last of the three songs by Todd that Kim and I recorded last spring. This one is a setting of a poem by local poet John Minczeski, Questions, which sits somewhere between Zen koan and children’s book. It is a single poem, but Todd has split it into four separate little songs, zooming in on each each question and giving it its own character. I think they’re quite marvelous. It’s a wonderful way to read a poem — as the Internet makes us more accustomed to reading text fast, the music makes it possible to slow down and give each line of the poem its own space and weight.

Kim Sueoka, soprano

This is the last of Todd’s songs Kim and I have recorded together; it’s back to solo piano in the next episode. Be sure to also check out Northwoods Police Report and First Autumn Night if you haven’t already!



Four talented collaborators, all getting it right on the same piece – it doesn’t happen every day.

Welcome back!

Greg Schaffner


Welcome back! I’ve missed your postings. I think “Questions” is the loveliest thing Todd has written to date. I’d never heard it in her singing before, but Kim has an intimate, smokey quality to her voice (when she wants to) that would lend itself beatifully to jazz. Not bad for a Hawaiian Renaissance diva, eh? Anytime the three of you (or four, if you include John Minczski as poet) want to collaborate again, I’ll be eager to listen.

Greg Schaffner

Hi there,

I love the site and the great information.