At North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, former commune and artistic playground of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg and many others, a spirit of radical democracy prevailed. Students and teachers shared roles and work, boundaries between disciplines dissolved, and art bled into life, nurturing an atmosphere of unfettered creative collaboration.
In Black Mountain Songs — commissioned and produced by Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Brooklyn Academy of Music, curated by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry, and performed by the Chorus — that collective thread is renewed. Composers Dessner, Parry, Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, and Tim Hecker create an expansive choral work that celebrates and rekindles Black Mountain’s utopian spirit.
“The choral songs at the heart of this work are performed with confidence, energy, and tenderness. …The sheer beauty of their singing was captivating.” —The New York Times
Tonight’s show celebrates today’s release of this album on the New Amsterdam Records label, and includes on-stage conversation with select composers. Hosted by Q2 Music’s Helga Davis.
→ Video Webcast
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus serves as WQXR’s 2016-2017 Artist-in-Residence. Throughout the season, the Chorus appears in The Greene Space at WQXR, performs at venues around New York City in concerts webcast live on Q2 Music, and will be featured in associated on-air and online programming at wqxr.org.