Part of BAM's 2014 Next Wave Festival
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Choral director and conductor Dianne Berkun-Menaker
Created by Bryce Dessner
Co-curated by Bryce Dessner & Richard Reed Parry
Directed by Maureen Towey
Music by Bryce Dessner, Tim Hecker, John King, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Caroline Shaw, and Aleksandra Vrebalov
At North Carolina’s Black Mountain College, erstwhile 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, performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, commissioned and produced by BAM and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and curated by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry, that collective thread is renewed. Seven composers—Dessner, Parry, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, and Tim Hecker—collaborate with director Maureen Towey and filmmaker Matt Wolf to create an expansive choral and visual work that celebrates and rekindles Black Mountain’s utopian spirit.