I am thrilled to announce that we have been granted a commission to write an extended work for BKG to be performed sometime in 2014. Many thanks to Chamber Music America and the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation! More details to come...
Ben Kono Group at Shapeshifter Lab, 6/24/14
Ben Kono Group: Simon and the Monk/River of Fire
Numinous premiere: The Grey Land
The Grey Land is a monoopera that explores universal themes of humanity and identity through the intractable triumvirate of race, class, and power in American society. The Grey Land will integrate a variety of writings, archival and contemporary video footage, dance, set and lighting designs, as well as dramatic elements in order to advance a non-traditional narrative that will embrace the musical and social multitudes and “dichotomies of high and low, inside and outside, tradition and innovation” within black culture, fusing various African-American and other popular music influences within a contemporary post-classical musical language. Working with writer/director Isaac Butler, choreographer Edisa Weeks, electronic musician Michael Hammond, film and video artist Malik Isasis and Xuan Zhang, The Grey Land will ruminate and comment more specifically on the larger longstanding systemic societal, economic and cultural issues the various police shootings and protests since 2014 have brought to a wider public consciousness. The composition is scored for 1 Mezzo Soprano Soloist, 1 Narrator/Speaker and the 26 musicians of Numinous, approximately 65 minutes in length and eventually recorded for New Amsterdam Records after the premiere.