ALTOONA, Pa. — Ian Marshall and Talley Kayser, performing as The Ecotones, will present “Songs Inspired by Literature” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Titelman Study of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts at Penn State Altoona.
The concert will feature songs with a distinctly literary bent: songs that are literary in form or influenced by literary works or figures.
Marshall and Kayser have been playing music together for about a year. Marshall is a professor emeritus of English and environmental studies, having retired from Penn State Altoona in 2020. He is the author of seven books, including a forthcoming work of hybrid fiction, “The Adventures of Ordinary Man!” He finds that retirement is nicely amenable to the practice of playing guitar and writing new songs, most of them inspired by his passions for literature and the natural world.
Kayser runs the Adventure Literature program at University Park, which features courses in wilderness, fly-fishing and rock-climbing literature. These courses blend literary study with outdoor adventure in places like Cape Cod, the New River Gorge, and the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia. Kayser has a master of arts in literature and environment from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a master of fine arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems and essays have appeared in “Alpinist,” “Deep Wild” and “The Fourth River,” among other publications.