Trekking 
...with The Crossing
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It's a lot! Projects about space travelers. Recordings about Zealotry and Voyages, and all the thought, design, and unveiling they entail. Commissioning plans for future premieres about  color spectrums, the decline of empires, or birds that are no longer with us .  At The Crossing, we're living so "in the moment," with an eye aimed with longing and anticipation toward the future, that we sometimes fail to recall what we've done - what paths we've already traveled and what we learned from them. Collaborations with friends. Great times with our extended family of singers, listeners, Angels.  Compositions that lie deeply in us and are a part of the trail we're leaving behind.

So, for the next several months, we're going to press pause for just a few minutes every week to go Trekking - a little hike up and down Mount Crossing that takes us where we've already been and lays out where we're going.  A kind of composition of compositions. 

Follow the Journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where each Thursday we'll post a new audio or visual artifact from the  fourteen-year map of time and space that we call The Crossing. Throwbacks to the recent and distant past, and many previously-unreleased from the archive

This Thursday, still buzzing with Grammy excitement, we kick off the Trek with a video from Jeff Quartets (2016) and a reflection on the journey to it with Lansing McLoskey, composer of Zealot Canticles (Grammy 2019!)

Dear World - A Jeff Quartet from Lansing McLoskey

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We discovered Lansing's music in 2008 and immediately reached out to program something in June 2009 for the second Month of Moderns. That something was Burning Chariots, a work in 12 languages, with a line from Jeremiah that really resonated: "Do no violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, nor the widow; neither shed innocent blood..." Soon after, we asked Lansing to write a new work for The Levine Project (2010). What we received was really compelling and thoughtful: The Memory of Rain, with a part for Crossing organist Scott Dettra. It includes this wonderful Levine invention, referring to the indifference of clouds, that we all still love today: 

"They should be beaten every morning / 
They should be boiled and bitten like spoons."

Shortly after The Memory of Rain, I set out to make a commission for a choir I was conducting in Cincinnati, determined to have a piece on words of Wole Soyinka - a work that looked at zealotry and how we treat each other. Lansing wrote that 10-minute work in 2011 and it immediately felt to me like the beginning of a big work - a very big work. It eventually became, with the longtime curation of The Crossing, the 70-minute oratorio Zealot Canticles that won the 2019 Grammy for Best Choral Performance. Full of strong poetry, prose, and excerpts of Soyinka's speeches, the final movement observes, "What is on fire today is not only within the mind, but the very nation space in which we all draw breath."

This leads us to Lansing's Jeff Quartet, with yet another memorable literary phrase: "There is a forest which isn't a forest/ just a collection of trees/They call them 'The Trees of the Lonely.'" Right in the middle of our now 10-year friendship with Lansing, we lost Jeff.  Zealot Canticles  was still an idea. It's interesting to think of what Jeff knew when he left us - the plans we had that landed as expected, those that developed in ways we couldn't have guessed, and those that happened because he left us, like Jeff Quartets.
In Case You Missed It

Angelic Voices 
For Troubled Times

In January, Donald sat down with Northwestern University's Research News to talk about the scholarship that goes into The Crossing's programming and commissions.



The score for ANIARA: fragments of time and space   is complete!  Read more about composer  Robert Maggio's process and thoughts in  a blog post and reflection from last October: 



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