"Between War and Here" Honors Veterans' Valor & Loss, in Words & Music | WYPR

"Between War and Here" Honors Veterans' Valor & Loss, in Words & Music

Mar 29, 2019

Credit Graphic courtesy Ensemble Galilei

The music that opens this segment is a 16th century song called The Flowers of the Forest. It was written in memory of the thousands of Scottish soldiers who died in battle in 1513.  To this day, this song is played when English or Canadian soldiers are killed in places like Afghanistan.  This recording is the title cut on the latest CD from Ensemble Galilei, an early-music chamber group.

It is also the opening and closing anthem in a program called Between War and Here, a show that includes narration and music inspired by veterans and their experiences in combat.  It’s a unique collaboration between Ensemble Galilei and veteran war correspondents Anne Garrels and Neal Conan, both formerly with NPR. 

ABOVE: Former NPR war reporters Neal Conan and Anne Garrels; BELOW: Ensemble Galilei members Carolyn Surrick, Ryan McKasson, Jackie Moran, Sue Richards
Credit Conan/Garrels photo courtesy Ensemble Galilei. EG photo by Burgess Blevins

Anne Garrels had hoped to join us this afternoon, but she is feeling a bit under the weather.  But we're delighted that Neal Conan is with us here in Studio A.  He’s a former host of All Things Considered and NPR’s Talk of the Nation.  These days, he produces and hosts a podcast for public radio called Truth, Politics and Power… 

Also joining us is Carolyn Surrick, a viola da gamba player who founded Ensemble Galilei twenty-five years ago, and who is the creative force behind Between War and Here.  The show takes its name from the title of a book she published in 2011: a collection of poems inspired by her experiences during seven years of playing concerts for wounded veterans at Washington's Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

On Saturday, March 30 at 7pm, Anne Garrels and Neal Conan will perform Between War and Here with Ensemble Galilei at the Church of the Redeemer in North Baltimore. Click the link for details. 

This conversation was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page. You can watch the video here.