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The Menil Collection's New Exhibition Features The Crossing In David Lang Soundscape, Specters Of Noon

On exhibit through June 2021.

David Lang Soundscape specters of noon, Sung by The Crossing,

Featured in The Menil Collection's New Exhibition
Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon

The Menil Collection's New Exhibition Features The Crossing In David Lang Soundscape, Specters Of Noon

Houston, TX (November 12, 2020) - GRAMMY Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang has written an interactive soundscape, specters of noon, for The Menil Collection's new exhibition Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon, on exhibit through June 2021. The installation includes seven large sculptural works by Puerto Rico-based artists Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971) that use sounds, cast shadows, and novel sculptural materials to explore the concept of "noon," the listless time when "delirious visions momentarily reign in the blinding light." Noon, as a metaphor for the uncertainties defining our time.

Lang worked closely with Allora and Calzadilla to develop an eight-hour cycle of constantly evolving sounds that will run daily in the exhibition, and according to Lang, "sonically sculpt the day." A combination of instrumental, vocal, and electrical recordings, the sounds will respond to and activate the works of art on view. Working with in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez and with musical direction by Crossing founder and conductor Donald Nally, members of the GRAMMY-winning new-music choir The Crossing individually recorded tracks in Philadelphia, to create the interactive audio that is broadcast from speakers strategically placed throughout the installation. Entelechy draws on the songs of canaries as inspiration, while Blackout finds the singers competing with the hums and explosions of arcing electricity.

The Crossing has a long relationship with Allora and Calzadilla, having premiered lifespan at Philadelphia's Fabric Workshop and Museum in 2014 it ran for 300 performances. lifespan was part of a collaborative project with the Philadelphia Museum of Art titled Intervals and including a world premiere, In the midst of things, another work developed by and featuring The Crossing. The Crossing has performed lifespan at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Donald Nally has directed it at the National Gallery in Osaka, Japan; the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany; and the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Blackout was first developed by the artists, Lang, and Nally at the Lisson Gallery in London.

More Information
Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon
Sep 26, 2020 - Jun 20, 2021
The Menil Collection | 1533 Sul Ross St | Houston, TX

About The Crossing
The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 110 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.

The Crossing collaborates with some of the world's most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketeatern, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Similarly, The Crossing often collaborates with some of world's most prestigious venues and presenters, such as the Park Avenue Armory, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands, The Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, The Kennedy Center in Washington, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space in New York, Winter Garden with WNYC, and Duke, Northwestern, Colgate, and Notre Dame Universities. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison.

WIth a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 21 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forum's 2017 Champion of New Music. They were the recipients of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, three ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, and the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.

Recently, The Crossing has expanded its choral presentation to film, working with Four/Ten Media, in-house sound designer Paul Vazquez of Digital Mission Audio Services, visual artists Brett Snodgrass and Steven Bradshaw, and composers David Lang and Michael Gordon on live and animated versions of new and existing works. Lang's protect yourself from infection and in nature were specifically designed to be performed within the restrictions imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic.

The Crossing is represented by Alliance Artist Management. All of its concerts are broadcast on WRTI, Philadelphia's Classical and Jazz public radio station. Learn more at

About David Lang
Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.

Lang is one of America's most performed composers. His catalogue is extensive, and his opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works are by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling and very emotionally direct. Much of his work seeks to expand the definition of virtuosity in music - even the deceptively simple pieces can be fiendishly difficult to play and require incredible concentration by musicians and audiences alike.

Lang's works are performed around the globe by the BBC Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Boston Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Kronos Quartet and many others; and at festivals and venues such as Lincoln Center, the Southbank Centre, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican Centre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tanglewood, the BBC Proms, MusicNOW festival, The Munich Biennale, the Settembre Musica Festival, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival and the Almeida, Holland, Berlin, Adelaide and Strasbourg Festivals. His music is used regularly for ballet and modern dance around the world by such choreographers as Twyla Tharp, the Paris Opera Ballet, the New York City Ballet, Susan Marshall, Edouard Lock, La La La Human Steps, The Netherlands Dance Theater, and Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed a new piece by Lang for the LA Dance Project at BAM in 2014.

Lang is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, a GRAMMY Award, an OBIE Award for Best New American Work, a Bessie Award, Musical America's Composer of the Year, Carnegie Hall's Debs Composer's Chair, the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich), and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. His work has been recorded on the Sony Classical, Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, BMG, Point, Chandos, Argo/Decca, and Cantaloupe labels, among others. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and Ricordi/Universal Music Classical. Learn more at

About Allora & Calzadilla
Jennifer Allora (born 1974, Philadelphia) and Guillermo Calzadilla (born 1971, Havana) are known for an experimental and interdisciplinary body of work encompassing a wide variety of mediums from performance and sculpture to sound, video, and photography.

Their work has been exhibited and collected widely in public institutions and private collections worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at the Guggenehim Museum, Bilbao (2019), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2019); MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2018); Dia Art Foundation, Guayanilla (2015); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2014); Trussardi Foundation, Milan (2013); Indianapolis Museum of Art (2012); the US Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); the Museum of Modern Art (2010); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2008); and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2008); Serpentine Gallery, London (2007); and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2007). Among numerous group exhibitions, they have participated in Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); the 56th,54th, and 51st Venice Biennales (2005, 2011, 2015); the 5th, 7th, and 10th Gwangju Biennials, South Korea (2004, 2008, 2014); and the 24th and the 29th São Paulo Biennials (1998, 2010). The artists live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

About the Menil Collection
Houston philanthropists and art patrons John and Dominique de Menil established the Menil Foundation in 1954 to foster greater public understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, culture, religion, and philosophy. In 1987, the Menil Collection's main museum building opened to the public. Today, the Menil Collection consists of a group of five art buildings and green spaces located within a residential neighborhood. The Menil remains committed to its founders' belief that art is essential to human experience and fosters direct personal encounters with works of art. The museum welcomes all visitors free of charge to its museum buildings and surrounding green spaces.

Major funding for this exhibition is provided by The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation; Brad and Leslie Bucher; Susan Vaughan Foundation; Hilda and Greg Curran; Cecily E. Horton; and Lea Weingarten. Additional support comes from Cindy and David Fitch; Jereann and Holland Chaney; Leslie and Shannon Sasser; Clare Casademont and Michael Metz; Barbara and Michael Gamson; Janet and Paul Hobby; Caroline Huber; Michael Zilkha; and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Top Images (L-R):
Installation view of Allora & Calzadilla's Blackout, 2020. Power transformer, bronze, electricity, vocalists, 120 1/2 × 85 1/2 × 78 3/4 inches (306.1 × 217.2 × 200 cm); and Manifest, 2020. Bat and bird guano, side A: 180 × 84 × 42.5 in. (449.6 × 213.4 × 97.8 cm), side B: 180 x 82 x 39 in. (449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm). Commissioned by Leslie and Brad Bucher for exhibition at the Menil Collection; courtesy of Lisson Gallery, New York and London. © Allora & Calzadilla. Photo: Paul Hester

Installation view of Allora & Calzadilla's Penumbra, 2020. Digital projection with sound, dimensions variable. Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels; and Entelechy, 2020. Coal, vocalists, 171 1/4x 374 3/16 x 581 1/4 in. (434.9 x 950.5 x 1376.4 cm). Courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, and Lisson Gallery, New York and London. © Allora & Calzadilla. Photo: Paul Hester

Installation view of Allora & Calzadilla, Graft, 2019. Recycled polyvinyl chloride and paint, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; courtesy of the artists and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. © Allora & Calzadilla. Photo: Paul Hester

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