ST. CLOUD - Ten years ago, renown musician and composer George Maurer began a challenging project - creating music around the complex writings of turn-of-the-century German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

Maurer, who developed a love of Rilke's work while an undergraduate at St. John's University, even traveled to Prague and Paris to learn about the writer's life.

Now, a decade later, that work has culminated in "Autumn Song," a musical theater revue that combines the poetry of Rilke with that of American playwright Tennessee Williams.

The show features two singers, acting as the poet and playwright respectively, singing their words to one another as if they were having a conversation.

Maurer says the idea for the literary fusion came as a suggestion from a Minneapolis-based director, Jef Hall-Flavin who pointed out the influence of Rilke's work on Williams' writings.

Maurer and Hall-Flavin worked together to stage Maurer's 14-song libretto. Maurer says the music is a bit of a mixture between jazz and gospel music. His cast and crew of ten have already performed "Autumn Song" in Minneapolis, and are getting ready to launch it at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Maurer says, for the first time, he's enlisted the support of his fans with the fundraising website "Kickstarter."

Maurer and his crew have raised over $ 5,500 of an $8,000 goal - all of which Mauer says will be used to pay the salaries of the actors, musicians and crew during the festival.

Maurer says he's extremely grateful for all the support coming from the local community, and is looking forward to hearing from Tennessee Williams aficionados at the festival in September.

To learn more about "Autumn Song," you can visit George Maurer's website.


More From AM 1240 WJON