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This composer gives new life to literary figures through music

Composer Kate Soper.
Marco Giugliarelli
Composer Kate Soper.

Words and music go hand in hand for composer Kate Soper. On this week's Sound Currents, enjoy music that has been inspired by the written word.

"Why does music make us feel things? I feel less certain the more I know and the further I go."

For composer Kate Soper, exploring not only what music sounds like, but why it makes us feel a certain way has sparked a curiosity that bridges art forms.

Alongside composing, she performs as a vocalist and is a published non-fiction and creative writer. While these creative pursuits work in tandem, they also create even more room for questions.

"I've become ever more confused about what music means, what it can mean, but I'm fascinated by this confusion," she says.

Much of her work finds itself at the intersection of music and writing, like "Voices from the Killing Jar."

This work examines women in literature that are "specimens in danger," like bugs trapped in a jar, but preserved well enough to be put on display.

Hear that work on this week's Sound Currents, alongside more music from composers finding inspiration in the written word.

Scroll to the bottom to answer this week's "favorite piece" poll!

Sascha Groschang
Laurel Parks

Kate Soper, composer

The Understanding of All Things
by Kate Soper, text by Franz Kafka
Kate Soper - vocals, Sam Pluta - electronics

So Dawn Chromatically Descends to Day
by Kate Soper
Kate Soper - vocals, Sam Pluta - electronics

Voices from the Killing Jar
VII. The Owl and the Wren - Lady Macduff
by Kate Soper
Wet Ink Ensemble

I Give You Back
by Annea Lockwood
Elizabeth Eshleman - vocals

Winter Trees
by Tonia Ko

Three Songs On Poems by Sappho - Anaktoria
by Christos Hatzis
David Hetherington, Joaquin Valdepeñas,Marc Widner, Monica Whicher, Robert Aitken, Steven Dann, Trevor Tureski

Sascha Groschang is a host for Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC.
Laurel Parks is a host for Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at
Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and afternoon host for Classical KC. You can reach her at