Skylark Vocal Ensemble.Â Photo:Â Sasha Greenhalgh.
I am thrilled that brilliant GRAMMY Award-nominated vocal ensemble Skylark will premiere my workÂ Transform the World with BeautyÂ onÂ April 4, 5, 6, and 7 during their tour of Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.! Concert details are listed below.
â€‹Skylark is one of the leading vocal ensembles in the U.S., praised for their â€œawe-inspiringâ€ performances (Boston Music Intelligencer), and their â€œoriginalâ€ (BBC Radio 3), â€œimaginativeâ€ (Limelight Australia), and â€œengrossingâ€ (WQXR NYC) programming.
Skylark commissioned me to write a piece for their programÂ Masterpiece, offering musical reflections and reactions to the visual arts.Â Transform the World with Beauty,Â an 11-minute work in three movements, is inspired by the flowering of visual art and poetry in Victorian Britain during the 1840s-1870s.
The first movement, â€œMy First Camera,â€ celebrates avant-garde photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron. In my adaptation of an excerpt from Cameronâ€™s autobiography, this pioneering artist describes the power of her creative impulse when she first took up the camera as a 48-year-old wife and mother. (Image:Â Julia Margaret Cameron, “Pomona,” 1872.)
â€œIn an Artistâ€™s Studioâ€ is a setting of a poem by Christina Rossetti. She offers an incisive, feminist critique of her brother, Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his obsessive depictions of an idealized woman.Â (Image:Â Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “The Annunciation” (detail), 1849.)
The final, title movement is inspired by the work and ideas of William Morris. The botanical and mythological titles of Morrisâ€™ sensuous textiles and wallpaper designs are juxtaposed with lofty sentiments from his philosophical lectures and essays. These two strands of Morrisâ€™ world, disparate at first, come together into a hopeful vision of society â€œtransformedâ€ through the beauty of nature and art.Â (Image: William Morris, “Strawberry Thief” wallpaper design, 1883.)
Transform the World with BeautyÂ will be recorded during Skylark’s tour, and I look forward to sharing itÂ with you all!Â Sadly, I can’t attend the Massachusetts dates myself, but I’m thrilled to hear the concert in D.C.Â See the links below and visitÂ Skylark’s websiteÂ for more information.
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019 AT 7:00PM
Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA
FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2019 AT 7:00PM
Gloucester Meeting House, Gloucester, MA
SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019 AT 3:00PM
Cole Memorial Chapel, Wheaton College, Norton, MA
SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2019 AT 4:00PM
St. Johnâ€™s Episcopal Church,Â Georgetown Parish, Washington DC