This looks amazing. The Wall Street Journal’s Vipal Monga reports that members of Arcade Fire and the National came together to organize a performance of songs inspired by the storied Black Mountain College. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw was also involved.
An arts school that had no formal classes, where it was hard to tell who the teachers were, where the students made their own shoes. Such a place existed nearly 60 years ago in the South: Black Mountain College produced true influencers—composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham and the painters Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg.
Starting on Thursday, the school is being celebrated at another cultural powerhouse—Brooklyn Academy of Music; the Brooklyn Youth Chorus will present the world premiere of “Black Mountain Songs,” a collection of choral works, for four evenings at the BAM Harvey Theater.
“It’s a combination of invoking the place and the idea the place represents,” said Richard Reed Parry, a member of the Grammy-winning rock group Arcade Fire. He organized the performance with Bryce Dessner, the guitarist for indie-rock band the National.
Located near Asheville, N.C., and open from 1933 to 1957, Black Mountain College has acquired mythic status over the years because of its unique approach to education—free expression, individual artistic development and experimentation—and the extraordinary talents it produced.
Thanks to loyal reader James for calling my attention to this.
Here’s an accompanying video:
I had the good fortune to see this last night. It was beyond wonderful. And the Brooklyn Youth Chorus is treasure.