If there is one thing that our recent times have shown us, it’s the power of the human voice, individually, collectively, and throughout history. In this concert, we’re also having a little bit of fun with a play on words, as we bring works by three great writers, Langston Hughes, Martin Ginsburg (husband to the inimitable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and James Joyce into a program together with New Music Detroit’s dynamite soprano-extraordinaire, Jocelyn Zelasko.
We all know that the voice is more than just text and sounds, it’s the deepest expression of ourselves: it’s an expression of culture, it’s an expression of emotions, it’s an expression of history, and it’s an expression of sheer beauty. The pieces on this concert are intimate works detailing life experiences that are, at once, as specific as standing in a summer rain or remembering a childhood moment, to as universal as love and loss. The works of these four American composers will take you on a tour of life experiences as though you’re traveling through musical memories, like time capsules that travel from the Harlem renaissance to gorgeous American romanticism to our modern time.
Valerie Coleman – Portraits of Langston (flute/clarinet/piano/readers)
I. Prelude: Helen Keller
II. Danse Africaine
III. Le Grand Duc Mambo
IV. Silver Rain
V. Parisian Cabaret
VI. Harlem’s Summer Night
Stacy Garrop – My Dearest Ruth (mezzo soprano/clarinet/violin/cello/piano/conductor)
Stephen Albert – To Wake the Dead (soprano/clarinet/violin/cello/piano/conductor)