Eads’ Unquiet Country Has World Premiere & Seattle Release

November 8, 2023

At 6:30pm November 9, Entre Ríos Books and Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum invite you to an evening of poetry and song celebrating the debut collection, “The Unquiet Country,” by Seattle author Patrick Milian and composer Emerson Eads. Sopranos Susan Payne O’Brien and Clarice Alfonso will perform duets composed by composer Emerson Eads and commissioned specifically for this book, “A Prime Number of Lines for Lili & Nadia Boulanger.”  The evening will conclude with a wine reception.

“The Unquiet Country” explores the history and relationships of French sisters, pianists, and composers Lili and Nadia Boulanger. The collection isn’t merely their poetic biography, but a queering of their biography, a contemplation on illness, fame, or its absence, and ultimately, power. It raises the question of how we can attain power for ourselves in a patriarchal and anti-queer society. In counterpoint with the Boulangers’ lives, Milian employs a multi-vocal approach to delve into divas, femme-fatales, and his own history as a queer poz Cuban-American. Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) is arguably the most influential composition pedagogue of the twentieth century, while Lili Boulanger(1893-1918) holds the distinction of being the first woman to win the Prix de Rome composition prize.

Time Location and event information:


The book, The Unquiet Country by Patrick Milian & Emerson Eads.

Book for purchase here:

“Arresting poetry and truly beautiful music . . . in ‘A Prime Number of Lines’ for the Boulanger sister, Bach-prelude-like beginnings go on strange and enchanting voyages, and creativity burns in percussive dissonances and shifting meters. The second song for Raïssa Boulanger  is a wide-ranging dirge of immense power.”

Susan Youens

“Emerson Eads has created delicious, bona fide two-part vocal writing–not just two voices who happen to be singing together– captures perfectly the nature of these two sisters’ intimate relationship. This is the kind of writing rarely found, not just in this century, but the previous one as well. The fact that the music is tonal and deeply emotional makes it a joy to listen to, and one presumes, a joy to sing as well.”

-Lynn Helding

University of Southern California Thornton School of Music

Editor in Chief, Journal of Singing