Saturday July 3, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
PLEASE NOTE: Due to rain, The Crossing will perform an updated program and not The Forest, as originally scheduled. The event will take place in the Venetian Theater at 7PM and will include the following program:
AT WHICH POINT
Ayanna Woods: SHIFT (2020/2021) (New York premiere)
Wang Lu: At Which Point (2021) (New York premiere)
David Lang: the sense of senses (2021) (New York premiere)
About the Artists
The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 110 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketeatern, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of world’s most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands, The Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, The Kennedy Center in Washington, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, Winter Garden with WNYC, and Duke, Northwestern, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison.
With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 23 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and six Grammy nominations. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum’s 2017 Champion of New Music. They were the recipients of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.
Recently, The Crossing has expanded its choral presentation to film, working with Four/Ten Media, in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez of Digital Mission Audio Services, visual artists Brett Snodgrass and Steven Bradshaw, and composers David Lang and Michael Gordon on live and animated versions of new and existing works. Lang’s protect yourself from infection and in nature were specifically designed to be performed within the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of its concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia’s Classical and Jazz public radio.
About the Music
On November 2, 2020, The Crossing gave the world premiere of Ayanna Woods’ SHIFT in a digital performance, as part of their pre-election film project series, THE CROSSING VOTES. Woods wrote the words for this bold new piece in which she contemplates the reimagining of our monuments, building through layers
to its climactic arrival: “I want … a monument we grasp and heave and bend in a long arc / bursting through the cracks in the story you tell, America.” Inspired by the power of Woods’ words and music, The Crossing asked her to expand her brief work into a multi-movement suite based on her own words. There is energy and rhythm and a drive upward toward … is it hope, or demand?
The program also features the New York premiere of At Which Point by Wang Lu, composed specifically for a COVID-era, socially distant, amplified performance. The composer used the emotional valleys and peaks of 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner Forrest Gander’s raw, brutally honest poetry as her inspiration for this work.
Tonight’s program closes with the New York premiere of David Lang’s the sense
of senses, a co-commission of The Crossing, The Company of Music (Vienna), and the Fisher Center at Bard College. The work distills all the senses mentioned in the Song of Songs, rearranged by sense, so that all seen things are together, all heard things together, etc. They are then presented from far to near — sight to sound to smell to feeling to taste. The result is a growing intensity as the senses come closer — an apt reminder of the power of sense as we emerge from an era in which so much of that very-human connection has been absent.
Please enjoy the texts to these works at crossingchoir.org/awbury.
Echoes Amplification Kits
This is The Crossing’s response to the time in which we live – a time when singing together in conventional formats (inside, gathered closely, depending on our ears to commune, audiences within a few feet) has been proven unsafe. So, we have rethought how we do what we do: sing, listen, and connect. One product of this reimagining is Echoes*, a conduit for intimate, expressive vocal art.
Developed by The Crossing’s sound designer, Paul Vazquez, each Echoes amplification kit features an individual six-foot pillar speaker and headset microphone that allow singers to sing together, outside, and safely socially distant. In-ear headphones allow for listening, and a loop pedal lets one voice transform to many; the 24 voices of The Crossing can, through looping, become a choir of over a hundred voices.
Yet, Echoes is not meant to replace what we normally do; it is an extension of our collective singing, rooted in the need to adapt to new ways of gathering. The isolation of singing during the pandemic is ever-present, while the joy of finding this way to do so is equally clear.
* Ex-Covid Haptotropic Optimistic Electrophonic Sound
All artists and dates are subject to change and cancellation without notice as we work closely with local health experts and officials. Please note that all performances at Caramoor are in compliance with current New York State Regulations. Read our latest Health & Safety updates.