Vacaville artist Wendy Vig combines poetry, music

September 6, 1998
Elisabeth Sherwin -- gizmo@

A year ago, Vacaville resident Wendy Vig thought she was pretty happy when her first book of poetry, "Fountains of Gold," was published. This year, she has a "Fountains of Gold" CD to go with it.

A little background: A major source of creative inspiration for Vig comes from the music of the group Yes. ( "Roundabout" was their first big hit in 1972 followed by many other hits through the years including "Owner of a Lonely Heart" in 1983. )

A few years ago she met Jon Anderson, Yes lead vocalist, on the Internet. It was a meeting of the creative minds in cyberspace. She sent her poetry to Anderson who liked it and agreed to illustrate her work and write the introduction if she could find a publisher.

The result is a collection of 26 Vig poems illustrated with Anderson's watercolors, which can be ordered for $14.95 through the publisher, Heaven Bone Press at P.O. Box 486, Chester, NY 10918.

Vig says about 400 copies of the book have been sold. Both she and Anderson hoped that the book could be sold at Yes concerts, but that turned out to violate a contract agreement.

However, Vig was determined not only to publish a book of poetry, but to see the creation of a CD, to see her poems set to music.

"After my book was published, I made an announcement on the Internet," said Vig. "I was contacted by a young musician and composer by the name of Rick Neuhoff in New York. He asked me if he could have permission to write music for my words and of course I said yes.

"That was about a year ago and now the CD is complete. It is very beautiful and progressive music," she said.

It was somewhat difficult working with a composer and a recording studio in New York, Vig says, but she and Neuhoff got the job done. He would write some music, record it, then play it to her over the phone.

Vig and her husband, Curt, would record certain cuts here and send tapes to New York. Curt Vig plays guitar on a cut called "Love." Wendy, who plays the flute on a piece called "The Source Within," also reads a poem (dedicated to a friend who died) "For Mark" as the introduction to a Neuhoff composition by the same name on the CD.

"For Mark" goes like this: "Love waits/in a heart of tears/A captured soul flies."

The music is very reminiscent of Yes, with a New Age touch here and there. If you like Yes, you'll probably like "Fountains of Gold."

Other musicians who contributed are well known in progressive music circles including Jordan Rudess and Ray Gomez. And modest Vig doesn't want her flute-playing to be confused with the work on the CD by Jeff Zudek. "He can play rings around me," she said.

It can be ordered for $15 plus postage and handling from Creativity Unlimited, 437 W. 46th St., NY, NY 10036. Phone (212) 581-4884

What does Jon Anderson think of the CD "Fountains of Gold"?

"He really liked the early versions of it," said Vig. "We're waiting to hear how he likes the final version."

Of course, Vig's big hope is that Anderson or another name musician will decided to record one of her poems.

"You never know with him," she said. "You never know."

"In the meantime I'm working on another book of poetry but first I want 'Fountains of Gold' to be successful," she said. "Self-promotion is all we've been doing so far. That's why we hope a big band or Jon himself will pick up a song. We want to get the word out to Yes fans, too.

"It's kind of tough but I know it's going to happen - just like I knew the book and CD would happen."

Vig graduated from Armijo High School in 1974 and attended Solano Community College. She didn't graduate, but decided instead to take a long trip to Europe. She describes herself as an artist as well as a poet and musician. She also is a teacher.

Vig worked for the Solano County Office of Education in special education for 13 years before retiring.

"I worked with all ages of children, pre-school on up to high school. I was hired in 1980 and worked up until 1993 when I went out on disability and retirement. Working with special children was always something I wanted to do. I have a younger brother who is special. Working with all the outstanding teachers and all the special sweet children was one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life."

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