The Crossing Choir's performance of Kile Smith "The Arc in the Sky" is tomorrow night in Philadelphia. They sent me some of the promos via instagram and I was really overwhelmed with emotion at seeing this bird I created back in January for an exhibition with Shelly. This work moved something else entirely different, I created these drawings to help move the energy of grief through...the ceramic piece she created was incredibly powerful, and the installation was haunting...so seeing this work in this new context, this context of light and love and movement, I keep thinking about the final notes of the piece, it really is overwhelming...I cried this weekend over the passing of my friend James Merrigan. He was a long time Art in the Park artist and really beloved by the community...the family brought a memorial book and the Lakewood Center provided flowers for his booth on Saturday for the public...and later that night I sobbed for a long time...one part of this job, organizing Art in the Park, that I wasn't prepared for is being such an intimate part of these artist's loves, especially with the loss...I watch the artists get older every year, this my third year, and there is such sweetness to seeing these faces return...I counted James as a friend, and I thank Bryan and Jennifer for coming out and talking with the public on Friday, for having that pain opened up...grief is hard, and I think with this concert premier, and the nine people who lost their lives for whom that work was originally created, that we have moved something difficult and opened up the light of love.
Here is the info from The Crossing for the upcoming concert. Thank you, everyone.
Friday, June 28, 2019 @ 5pm Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square
Though Kile Smith has written several uniquely idiomatic works for us, his 2018 setting of journal entries and poems of Robert Lax is epic - an hour-long tour de force of thought and feeling that traverses topics ranging from Louis Armstrong to Jack Kerouac, and from Jerusalem to the shores of the island of Patmos. The enigmatic Lax presents a fascinating aggregate of paradoxes: friend to Thomas Merton and the Beat poets; urbane yet reclusive; at times whimsical, at others blissful. He ultimately explored a kind of literary minimalism, playing with form as if reinventing it, presenting, yet again an opportunity for us to consider words – ours, and those of others. Kile's music meets these words fearlessly, building great waves of majestic sound next to fragile threads of contemplation.
A Philadelphia composer, a Philadelphia choir, a Philadelphia event: this concert is presented in collaboration with Chorus America's Annual Conference, a national gathering of choral musicians, in Philadelphia June 26-29. Please note the special concert time of 5pm.
Pick up an exclusive advance copy of our latest CD at the concert – The Arc in the Sky on Navona Records – full digital release July 12.
for we are only going down, only descending by this song to where the cities gleam in the darkness, or curled like roots sit waiting at the undiscovered pool. –Robert Lax
Art by Christopher St John Nine Passages From a Gift of Sorrow: Passage Number One-The Arc ink on paper, 30”x22” 2019