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Richard Fammerée


Richard Fammeree
Richard Fammerée (photo courtesy the artist and Chicago Public Radio)

Poet, composer, singer-songwriter, international performing and recording artist Richard Fammerée is founder and director of Pont des Arts Ensemble and UniVerse of Poetry. He is a pioneer of the renaissance of poetry and global music, scoring poems into alternative/contemporary art songs. His album Fammerée & Eurydice marries passion and spirituality echoing his book of poems Lessons of Water and Thirst, included in the Poetry Library of Royal Festival Hall, London. Manfred Gordon (Cambridge University) describes this volume as sensual and psychological, lush in the tradition of French Symbolism.

Fammerée's collaborations include recordings with poets Li-Young Lee, Rachel Webster and Francesco Levato; Emmy award-winning singer Toni Childs; Grammy winner Frank Myers; and singer-songwriters Carrie Ingrisano and Meg Lauterbach.

In the tradition of troubadours, Fammerée has played the varnish off numerous guitars in numerous countries, and frequently features in American and European publications and venues. Highlights include: Amnesty International, The Art Institute of Chicago, ARTÉ Television, National Public Radio, PBS, The Poetry Center of Chicago, Shakespeare & Co. (Paris) and The World Festival of Sacred Music initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. An artist-in-residence at Flatfile Galleries, Richard Fammerée is featured on the spoken poetu album ReVerse with Mark Strand, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Li-Young Lee, Elise Paschen and Lou Reed. He produced and hosted Poetry & Its Music International on WHPK-FM radio for the University of Chicago. Recordings of the poetry and music of Richard Fammerée are available on Apple iTunes and more than thirty other digital online outlets.

Fammerée broke free from his family at a young age, when his parents were expecting him to enter a university and study for a professional practice. As a teen, he left for San Francisco with no more than bus fare in his pocket. He busked and gigged in the United States for a while, and then found his way to France where he performed in music clubs. In Paris, he took time to study French literature, and so he has a fairly thorough unerstanding of French and English poetry. Fammerée has said that the rebellion from his family's "arranged" life was not intended to estrange his family so much as allow himself the opportunity to pursue a life with passions he chose for himself.

Further information about Richard Fammerée is available online through the artist's website.

The tracks below were recorded by Fammerée and associates in 2001, and accompanied a copy of Fammerée's book, Lessons of Water and Thirst, (Collage Press, Chicago, 2000) where the lyrics appear in print. Click to listen:

Khóra Sfakia
[TRT: 4min 39sec]

Evora - a song
[TRT: 3min 47sec]

Digging Up the Cancer Field
[TRT: 2min 15sec]

- April 2002; updated October 2009