Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Crossing Releases New Film, YOU CAN PLAN ON ME, Focusing On The Experience Of Aloneness

You can Plan on Me focuses on the experience of aloneness, of not being able to do the thing we love and rely on.

The Crossing Releases New Film, YOU CAN PLAN ON ME, Focusing On The Experience Of Aloneness

Today, GRAMMY-winning new music choir The Crossing released a new film, You can Plan on Me, a reflective new composition based on works from their long history of commissioned world premieres. The project is conceived by conductor Donald Nally, who also composed the film score, largely based on Aaron Helgeson's A way far home, which was written for and premiered by The Crossing in December 2017. The film is by Luke Carpenter and Emma Oehlers, with The Crossing's in-house sound producer Paul Vazquez and assistance to the score and sound by Kevin Vondrak. The work is dedicated to the artists of The Crossing in isolation.

Watch below!

The 2020 iteration of The Crossing @ Christmas, an annual Philadelphia tradition, was set to feature the world premiere of a new work by composer Matana Roberts, "we got time.," a piece that honors the life of Breonna Taylor. Though conceived to be performed outside and socially distanced, recent safety restrictions in Philadelphia caused the postponement of that concert to The Crossing's annual Month of Moderns in June 2021. In its place, The Crossing releases You can Plan on Me, a film requiring no contact nor gathering. The film also serves as this year's Jeffrey Dinsmore Memorial Concert, which has for six years been celebrated at The Crossing @ Christmas.

Like all the pandemic-time creations of The Crossing, You can Plan on Me focuses on the experience of aloneness, of not being able to do the thing we love and rely on. In The Crossing's case, that is singing. Thus, the film content: a solitary figure in a candle-lit room sits at a table reminiscing. We join her as observers, while hearing the soundtrack in her mind. That soundtrack was recorded by the singers individually, at home on their phones, and assembled by Paul Vazquez.

The main text of You can Plan on Me is by Gordon Henry, a Philadelphia native currently on the faculty of Michigan State University and an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe of Minnesota. His Dear Sonny: anchors the work, with additional words of Alan Ginsberg, Joseph Rolnick, Donald Nally, and Kevin Vondrak.

Nally remarks, "This year, we can't be together for The Crossing @ Christmas. So, this is our way of being together. Some photos, snippets from music of the past, knowing that on the other end of our solo tracks there is a team listening to us and pulling it into a whole - an 'entire' - finding our way toward what we can do, embracing what we cannot, and making a record of the time; the Christmas when we were separated, not despite our love for one another, but because of it."

The Crossing's pandemic works have included nine films: Ayanna Woods' Shift; Nicholas Cline's she took his hands; Robert Maggio's Democracy; David Lang's stateless, protect yourself from infection, and in nature; Michael Gordon's "One day I saw" from Anonymous Man; Donald Nally and Kevin Vondrak's The Forest, and now You can Plan on Me. Since March, they have also released three albums: Michael Gordon's Anonymous Man on Cantaloupe Music; James Primosch's CARTHAGE on PARMA Recordings, currently nominated for the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance; and Rising w/ The Crossing, released on December 11, 2020 on New Focus Recordings and appearing on The New York Times' 25 Best Classical Tracks of 2020.

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 23 releases, receiving two GRAMMY Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and six 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 www.crossingchoir.org.

The Crossing: You can Plan on Me
December 2020

Katy Avery
Nate Barnett
Jessica Beebe
Kelly Ann Bixby
Karen Blanchard
Steven Bradshaw
Colin Dill
Micah Dingler
Ryan Fleming
Joanna Gates
Dimitri German
John Grecia
Rebecca Hoke
Steven Hyder
Michael Jones
Anika Kildegaard
Heidi Kurtz
Maren Montalbano
Donald Nally
Becky Oehlers
James Reese
Kyle Sackett
Becky Siler
Elisa Sutherland
Dan Schwartz
Dan Spratlan
Kevin Vondrak


Featured BroadwayWorld Events

Check out these concerts...

Related Articles View More Philadelphia Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You