The total length was about 6 minutes. Knowing that Ginny was flying over to Japan from the states and would arrive just before the opening ceremony, I sent her a copy of the new piece and asked her if she wanted to write some lyrics. The only thing that I had in mind was a couple of lines from a Shinto poem I had found:

"With the unseen God who seeth all secret things in silence, the heart of the man sincere communes from the earth below."

Working entirely on her own, Ginny completed lyrics to the arrangement that I had sent her, and hopped on her flight to Japan. Two days later, on the stage of the concert hall, Ginny and I rehearsed the new song. It was the first time I had heard her lyrics and I was stunned! They were so perfect, so beautiful. On the following day, with the filming of the concert hall's opening ceremony, the song had its debut on NHK, Japanese national television. All songs should come together so well.

People in the Sun is our second, and newest CD. Its inspiration is the lives and work of Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keeffe. In 1999, on a trip to Santa Fe, NM, Ginny and I stopped in at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and spent two awe-struck hours wandering through the place. That experience launched the new batch of songs found on the CD.

O'Keeffe's "Ladder to the Moon" and Hopper's "People in the Sun" inspired songs of the same name. "Flowers and Skyscrapers" and "Canyon Suite" look at O'Keeffe's seminal periods in New York and the American Southwest, respectively. "Ladder Coda" uses lyrics from and inspired by Ira Sadoff's poem, "Hopper's 'Nighthawks' 1942."

In 2008 and 2009, Ginny and I are hoping to travel to some of our favorite places and perform these songs. If you'd like us to come to your town, let us know...

Welcome to the Fordham Wilkes website. Here, you'll find all the pertinent info for the duo Fordham Wilkes, including news, music samples, discography, press materials, contact info, and more.

Ginny Fordham - vocals and acoustic guitar
Steve Wilkes - acoustic and electronic percussion

We're two people who have been writing songs together for almost 19 years. Our initial musical idea was a "vocal/electronic percussion duo." (That's still pretty rare, even today.) That idea has somehow managed to remain as the foundation of what we do. Songs are born in many ways, but that singular duo idea has certainly spawned a few. Compositions like "The Open Door" (from our days as dr. carrot), "From the Earth Below (from the first FW CD), and "People in the Sun" (title track from our new CD), were created from such an instrumentation.

"From the Earth Below" is a particularly interesting story of a song's journey, from birth to performance...

I was in Tokyo, Japan on a fellowship. One of my best friends, the architect Shizuo Harada, told me that he would be attending the opening of a new concert hall he had designed, north of Tokyo, in Aomori prefecture. He asked me if I also wanted to attend. Before I could even think twice, I blurted out, "I would like to write some music for this occasion!" He was delighted and gave me the green light.

I hunkered down in my Tokyo apartment and went to work. Using only a DrumKat (an electronic percussion device that is played with sticks) and a synthesizer, I sketched out an arrangement of a new piece of music, from beginning to end.

© 2008 FordhamWilkes