“What is a man anyhow? What am I? What are you?”
So asked Walt Whitman...and so we ask, as we contemplate our place in the universe.
Bryars’ substantial new evening-length unaccompanied work for The Crossing, A Native Hill, sets texts by the American writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry, from his 1968 essay of the same title. Although at first appearance pastoral, Berry’s descriptions of the minutiae of his rural existence have a profound metaphysical and even political force. He has been called a modern Thoreau, although here his visionary prose has something of the mysticism of Bryars’ previous work with The Crossing when he set the words of Thomas Traherne. Gavin draws on the close working and personal relationship that has developed between him and The Crossing through work on their Grammy-winning collaboration The Fifth Century and his role as guest composer for The Crossing's summer residency at Big Sky, Montana. He has an intimate knowledge of the singers’ individual characteristics.
a Gavin Bryars world premiere
the Jeffrey Dinsmore Memorial Concerts
Visit crossingchoir.org to learn more about this commission, the libretto, and the journey.
There will be a pre-concert talk with Donald at 4pm in the Burleigh Cruikshank Memorial Chapel.