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The Crossing Releases THE CROSSING VOTES: 2020


The Crossing Votes is a series of four new short films.

The Crossing Releases THE CROSSING VOTES: 2020

GRAMMY-winning new-music choir The Crossing has released The Crossing Votes: 2020, a series of four new short films continuing the ensemble's commitment to reporting and responding to the times in which we live. The Crossing Votes: 2020 includes two world premieres, written for the project - Robert Maggio's Democracy and Ayanna Woods' Shift - plus Nicholas Cline's she took his hands (2017) and David Lang's stateless (2019), all addressing issues in the national discourse leading up to Election Day. All four films premiered at 5:38am ET, representing the 538 electoral votes, on the morning of their release on the choir's Facebook, YouTube Live, and website. View all four films now at

David Lang's stateless is the third pandemic collaboration between Lang and The Crossing. Marking the English-language premiere of this setting of a 13th-century letter from Rabbi Moses ben Hachman to his children in Barcelona, written while exiled to Jerusalem, stateless is presented as a new film by Eric Southern, with art and titles by Steven Bradshaw and Nyahzul C. Blanco.

In she took his hands (2017), Nicholas Cline sets the words of Emma Lazano, on the arrest of her friend, Chicago immigrant activist Elvira Arellano, as quoted in The Washington Post on August 21, 2007 to create a journalistic, yet empathetic account of immigration, faith, and motherhood.

Composer of The Crossing's 2019 stage work, Aniara, Robert Maggio returns with the world premiere of a new work, Democracy (2020), setting words of Franklin Roosevelt's "Arsenal of Democracy" radio speech from December 1940. Determined, inspiring, and relentless, FDR insists that he would ask no one to defend a democracy that would not in turn defend everyone in the nation.

New to The Crossing, composer Ayanna Woods has also written the words for the premiere of a bold new work, Shift (2020), in which she contemplates the reimagining of our monuments, building through layers to its climactic arrival, "bursting through the cracks in the story you tell, America."

The four films were conceived and conducted by Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing, with Paul Vazquez of Digital Mission Audio Services as audio producer, and music assistance from Kevin Vondrak and John Grecia. The films of Woods, Maggio, and Cline are by Four/Ten Media, Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg, with assistance of Nick Hughes.

The Crossing Votes: 2020 features the ensemble's new Echoes amplification kits, which premiered to acclaim and sold-out performances in the world premiere of The Forest earlier this month. Echoes features individual pillar speakers that allow singers to sing together, outside and safely socially-distant. In the Ayanna Woods premiere, singers stand 30 feet apart in a circle with circumference of 720 feet and diameter of 230 feet, the speakers gathered as a separate group in the center. In the Maggio premiere, singers again stand 30 feet apart, now placed as a giant starburst behind speakers, which are collected as a blueprint of The Crossing's lay-out in conventional, non-COVID times. The isolation of singing during the pandemic is ever-present, while the joy of finding this way to do so is clear. The Crossing's Echoes system was sponsored by Thomas Kasdorf.

All works of The Crossing Votes: 2020 were produced with social-distancing; the Maggio and Woods outside, and the Lang and Cline recorded one singer at time. The Maggio, Woods, and Cline were recorded and filmed at the farm of Libby Glatfelter in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The Lang was recorded at The Crossing's home, the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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