The American Composers Orchestra, winner of a 2014 Performance Grant, will feature the world premiere of Sanctum by Courtney Bryan on Thursday, April 9. Bryan, who just completed her DMA in composition at Columbia, is an eclectic musician and composer, exploring different genres and styles of music – including jazz. She was recently interviewed at All About Jazz.
About the new work, Bryan said this:
Sanctum(2015), for orchestra and recorded sound, explores the sound of improvisation in Holiness-preaching traditions. I draw inspiration from Pastor Shirley Caesar’s 1973 recorded sermon, “The Praying Slave Lady,” about an enslaved woman protected from the slave master’s whips by her unrelenting faith in God and the intervention of a host of spirits. By employing techniques of layered repetition, rhythmic intensity, and sounds of moaning and whooping, Sanctum invokes solace found in the midst of persecution and tribulation.
The American Composers Orchestra is “dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation and promulgation of music by American composers” and has recently partnered with the League of American Orchestras and Earshot to increase opportunities for women composers. We wrote about this when the news first broke, but you can also read more about Melody Eötvös and Julia Adolphe, the two inaugural composers in this program, on the ACO website.
Tickets and more information for Thursday’s concert can be found here.