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VIDEO: The Crossing Releases New Film OBLIGATIONS

Obligations is the tenth and final film of The Crossing’s 2020-2021 season, which also included Ayanna Woods' Shift; Nicholas Cline's she took his hands and more.

GRAMMY-winning new-music choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, today released a new 13-minute film Obligations, recorded at home by the artists in isolation. In-house sound designer Paul Vazquez worked with composer Paul Fowler to overlay over 300 sound files and text by Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier to bring to life Fowler's chamber-like, transparent score for 24 individual voices. Obligations completes a trilogy of pandemic-time collaborations with filmmaker Brett Snodgrass and serves as a transition from works produced in isolation to the return of live singing as The Crossing prepares for The Month of Moderns 2021, opening June 3 and running through June 19 - all in person outdoors in Pennsylvania.

Watch below!

Of his film, Snodgrass writes: "It's about healing. The primary metaphor is above and below, heaven and earth, struggle and transcendence, shown in the black horizon, the X shape or mirrored triangles (symbols for earth/heaven and domicile) and the unfurling braided hair, which spreads to the other suffering forms. The entire piece is inhabited by the gold color of morning: new start, new day. It begins with a reference to a creation story and ends in a blooming prairie pasque flower, the first flower of spring. At its start and close is an elemental figure whose story is yet to be told." The new work is dedicated to filmmaker Brett Snodgrass's father and sound designer Paul Vazquez's mother, who both passed away during the making of Obligations.

This is composer Paul Fowler's fourth work written for The Crossing. Previous commissions include Breath, appearing on the ensemble's first solo album, It is Time; Echoes, for the treble-voice album I want to live; and First Pink, a memorial to co-founder Jeff Dinsmore.

Obligations is the tenth and final film of The Crossing's 2020-2021 season, which also included 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 Donald Nally's You can Plan on Me. Obligations is supported by a gift from Carol Westfall.

Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier is a writer, feminist, artist, and activist. She is the author of WHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017), which won the 2018 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and was short-listed for the National Book Award. Layli has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and a Whiting Writers' Award.

Composer and vocalist Paul Fowler is based in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches at Naropa University. His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the National Concert Hall of Taiwan, and Japan's Suntory Hall among others, and have been featured at Music from Angel Fire, Norway's Borealis Festival, the MATA Festival, and Belgium's International Marimba Festival.

Filmmaker Brett Snodgrass has thirty years' experience designing for a wide range of genres: film & television, theater, opera, industrial theater and video presentations, commercials, photo editorials, stop motion and puppet presentations, and architectural installations. His work has been seen on Showtime, Amazon, PBS, Cartoon Network, on Disney Digital Media, in the pages of Playboy, on HBO, on stages from New York to Chicago to Branson, Missouri, and in film festivals across the country.

The Crossing's sound designer, Paul Vazquez, is a veteran of location recording, routinely recording for artists across wide ranging genres. Labels include Sony, Glassnote, Windup, Innova, Navona, and New Focus, recording in venues from New York City to Washington D.C. to Bozeman, Montana - including Bowery Ballroom, Le Poisson Rouge, Mercury Lounge, Highline Ballroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg, National Cathedral, 9:30 Club and more. Paul has engineered and produced multiple Grammy-nominated and winning records, including The Crossing's Grammy-winning Zealot Canticles.


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