September 10th, an awaited day – for it was the reuniting of Malcolm Guite and Steve Bell at a local church in Winnipeg for a wondrous night of poetry, song and a new ballad by Malcolm that he wrote on the plane while landing in Winnipeg.
As part of Steve’s staff, I worked to produce this concert, having experienced the first one in 2013 – a sold out evening at the West End Cultural Centre.
I knew it was going to be a magical evening, and since Malcolm was in town from the UK for such a short time, Steve allowed me to bring a few of my paintings along for a display, including the most recent, “In Coleridge’s Wake”. This was the first public showing of this piece.
A bit of history: Steve and Malcolm met at a C.S. Lewis Summer Institute in Cambridge a few years ago. They admired each other’s work and became friends, collaborating over the ocean via email. Since then, Malcolm has participated in writing songs for Steve’s latest albums, Keening for the Dawn and Pilgrimage. He also participates in writing and appearing via video in Steve’s e-book series, Pilgrim Year covering the church calendar year.
They’ve performed and taught together many times since then, in Winnipeg and at several universities. Their friendship and interpersonal connection is quite amazing to watch and experience.