My friend Claire… and a new record

Hello friends,

I’d like to share with you that I’m going to be playing at EvanstonSPACE on Thursday, January 16th. I’m thrilled to be returning to this beautiful venue and I hope you’ll join us on this special evening. A lot of love and care is going into this concert, as I’ll be releasing a new record, Dora, as well as playing songs from my older albums. In addition, there are a bunch of tour dates coming up across the country so please take a look for concerts near you, and if you feel like it, come say hi after a show – I do love hearing from you!

My friend Claire Clube & A New Record

I want to tell you about an amazing person named Claire who I worked with on a project, an album of poems-turned-into-songs called Dora. Claire and I planned to share this record with you this Fall but things took a very unexpected turn.

Claire Clube (pictured below) was a poet and a dear friend who I initially met at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. She was probably one of the most loving, fun and brave people I have ever known. She was fearless about creating things and spending time and resources on artistic projects. I watched her expect the best of people and their talents. She never worried, she just showed up. Claire traveled quite a bit, worked on projects with her own children and she had most recently adopted a three-year-old boy named Rashid from Kenya.

Back in August of 2010, I recorded an album of her poetry in Somerville, MA. I was huge (8 months pregnant), it was extremely hot out, and I had finally decided to re-allow myself to drink large iced coffees because I was having trouble staying awake for longer than 2 hours at a time. ;-)

During this time, I sat down at Q Division Studios’ delicious Yamaha baby grand and, on several afternoons, recorded 9 songs (poems of Claire’s that I had turned into songs over the previous few months) with a live band that included Rose Polenzani, Billy Beard, Joe McMahon, Steve Scully, Jennifer Kimball, Frank Marotta, Jr., Paul Ahlstrand, Joe Tooley, and others. For me, it was a time of many naps (they have comfortable couches ;) ), creative flow and of taking big musical risks. Somehow setting someone else’s words really freed me to push musical boundaries. Claire and I were really happy with the end result and I hope it is something you will find both beautiful and unusual.

Tragically, this past July, Claire and her daughter Bess were killed in a plane crash. So shocking was this news to me, that it took me some time to even believe it. The fact that this extremely full-of-life, joyful, in the middle of doing so many things woman, could leave, was more than surprising.

I do not write you this to make you sad, but rather to express that I know she wanted, as much as I do, to share these poem-songs with you and so when the Dora record comes out on Valentine’s Day 2014, I will be letting you know about it. I hope you will buy a copy because the CD money will go to support the little boy, Rashid, who Claire had adopted, but now can no longer take care of. Even though you didn’t know her, you can be a part of her legacy through enjoying this music. I am reminded as I write this that my friend inspired me to live fully and courageously and that she had a happy life while she was here. That’s what I’ll carry with me.

Peace, Anne

Claire and her daughter Bess

11 thoughts on “My friend Claire… and a new record

  1. Hi Anne, I would really like to connect with you as I was a friend of Claire’s when she lived in Cambridge and was stunned to learn of her death today. I have just come back from a two month trip to Africa and would love to make a contribution to Rashid–my company specializes in travel that gives back. Dominique

  2. thank you for the chance to read about Claire and her work. I used to sit behind her in Geography lessons at school in West London, there was a 30 year reunion recently and it was thanks to the beautiful brochure they published that I learnt the sad news.

  3. I had NO idea.
    Beautiful and bittersweet and inspiring.
    I cannot wait to purchase this.
    Peace and Love.

  4. I just learned of Claire’s death today- when I was inquiring about including her in my latest artistic adventure MAP – Mother Artist Project .
    I am currently documenting the lives of mother artists behind the scenes as they balance both worlds .. I am also blogging their interviews and my photography of their lives .
    My father and step mother often visited the home of Claire before she divorced . I knew then that she was a loving and amazing creative mother .. It is horribly sad to hear she is gone. I would love to somehow feature her even though she is no longer here. I’m not sure if this is possible – or if you would like to be featured and we can mention this project and honor her as well?

    Please take a look at my blog

    Let me know what you think!
    Thank you

  5. Hi Anne
    I had the amazing luck and pleasure to cross paths with Claire, Bessie, and Robert in Kenya in January 0f 2013. Claire and I met by a bonfire at Lemartiscamp. We talked many hours into the night. They all called her Mama Punda because she had just opened a house to help the street donkeys (or “pundas” in Swahili) in one of her favorite places on Eartth, Lamu. We discovered we both shared the same favorite author, Janet Frame. From that moment on, we were friends. I would like to know when her poetry comes out. Thank you for doing this. I search her name every once in awhile to sort of reach out to her. I miss her. I wonder what happened to Robert.

    • Suzanne,
      Thank you for writing! Claire’s poetry has come out in manuscript form and is also on the record we made called “Dora.”
      Thank you for sharing this story. It actually gives me an idea :) I want to read this Janet Frame. Where do you live?
      I am happy to put you in touch with Robert. Feel free to email me and I can give you his phone number or email address!

      • Hi Anne
        So happy to hear back from you. I live in a suburb about 45 minutes from Los Angeles. I have all of Janet Frame’s books and would be happy to share them with you. Where do you live?
        I would like to say hello to Robert.When in Kenya, we had had a conversation about books and I was prompted to read some of his suggestions. He told me that he wrote, but it wasn’t until I had gotten home that I read his first novel. I’ve been looking at your site and noticed that the title of the album is Dora. Claire mentioned to me that she was starting a skincare line with the same name. When I met Claire, I had no idea of course that that would be the last time I would see her. My only way of contacting her was by the email address she had given me. Shortly after her death, I searched to find out more, I even emailed her. I am going to buy the album, and look forward to hearing her words and your songs. Thank you for sharing them.
        Peace back,

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