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The Crossing to Present MOTION STUDIES Featuring World Premieres By Gabriel Kahane And Justine F. Chen


The world premieres are: Justine F. Chen's Shallow Breath and Stealth and Gabriel Kahane's Choral Music.

The Crossing to Present MOTION STUDIES Featuring World Premieres By Gabriel Kahane And Justine F. Chen

Grammy Award-winning choir The Crossing, led by conductor Donald Nally, is continuing its 2021-2022 season with Motion Studies on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 5:00pm at their home, The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. The program, which digs deep into 21st-century American life, features two world premieres, Justine F. Chen's Shallow Breath and Stealth and Gabriel Kahane's Choral Music, and includes the second performance and premiere of the revised version of Nicholas Cline's Watersheds with Matthew Levy on the saxophone.

Justine F. Chen's 30-minute Shallow Breath and Stealth (2021) is based on Jena Osman's book Motion Studies, an extended poem that follows a couple hoping to live surveillance-free in a world obsessed with data collection. Osman will do a reading of Motion Studies on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:00pm at Stotesbury Mansion. (Free. RSVP required, find it here.) Jena Osman is also the author of Corporate Relations, the book that inspired Ted Hearne's Sound from the Bench, a 2014 commission of The Crossing that was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.

Gabriel Kahane's Choral Music (2021) is a scrapbook of his time as a high school choral singer, set against the backdrop of pre-9/11 American innocence. A personal musical memoir to which many can relate, Choral Music chronicles a time of anxious apprehension, chat rooms, self-awareness, and a blooming discovery of the power and beauty of choral music. Like Kahane's well-known song catalogue, the text and music are organically married and strikingly frank and honest.

Saxophonist Matthew Levy joins The Crossing for Nicholas Cline's Watersheds (2018), a work fueled by the words of outspoken environmental thinkers on how our shared spaces are created not by political borders, but by the flow of water. The first version of Watersheds premiered with the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Donald Nally at Northwestern University in 2018. Cline says, "Water witching is a way of coping with one's environment under conditions of uncertainty and anxiety. The water witch - like the hydrogeologist - is concerned with imagining underground flows of water. As the spaces which separate the flow of water, watersheds define the borders of this shared resource. The texts juxtapose varied and distinctly American attitudes toward water."

Conductor Donald Nally will lead a pre-concert talk in the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill's Burleigh Cruikshank Memorial Chapel with composers Justine F. Chen and Nicholas Cline at 4:00pm. A post-concert reception where audience members can meet the composers will immediately follow the performance at Widener Hall.

Program Information

Motion Studies Reading
Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:00pm
Stotesbury Mansion | 1923 Walnut Street | Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tickets: Free, RSVP required

Jena Osman, poet

Motion Studies
Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 5:00pm
The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill | 8855 Germantown Ave | Philadelphia, PA 19118
Tickets: General Admission $35, Seniors $25, Students $20

JUSTINE F. CHEN: Shallow Breath and Stealth (2021) [World Premiere]
NICHOLAS CLINE: Watersheds (2018)
Gabriel Kahane: Choral Music (2021) [World Premiere]

The Crossing
Donald Nally, conductor
Matthew Levy, tenor saxophone

Pre-concert talk with Donald Nally, Justine F. Chen, and Nicholas Cline at 4pm in the Burleigh Cruikshank Memorial Chapel. Meet the composers at a post-concert reception in Widener Hall.

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