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Tyshawn Sorey: Monochromatic Light (Afterlife)
Commissioned by DACAMERA and Rothko Chapel in celebration of the Chapel’s 50th Anniversary
Tyshawn Sorey, composer, conductor
Houston Chamber Choir
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
Kim Kashkashian, viola
Steven Schick, percussion
Sarah Rothenberg, piano/celesta
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Rothko Chapel, DACAMERA and Rothko Chapel have commissioned boundary-breaking composer Tyshawn Sorey to create a new work inspired by the Chapel. In turn, Sorey was inspired by Morton Feldman’s 20th-century masterpiece, Rothko Chapel, which premiered there in 1972. Using the same instrumentation as Feldman, Tyshawn Sorey brings to it his background in jazz and creative music. Tyshawn Sorey epitomizes DACAMERA’s commitment to work that explodes traditional distinctions between genres.
Tyshawn Sorey – who has called Feldman “my biggest influence as a composer” – was an ideal choice for the project. Discussions with Sorey began in 2018, after DACAMERA’s highly successful presentation of his Perle Noire with soprano Julia Bullock and the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2016. The current commission was originally scheduled to premiere in February 2021, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My music is synonymous with meditation in that it is intended to expand one’s consciousness and fulfillment THROUGH the act of listening as well as giving the experiencer the opportunity to heighten their sense of awareness…my music perfectly aligns with the intention of the Chapel, which has always served as a place for meditation.” – Tyshawn Sorey
“the composer of the year…an artist at the nexus of the music industry’s artistic and social concerns.” – The New York Times
“among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone…An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.” — The New Yorker
Jointly commissioned by DACAMERA, Rothko Chapel, and Park Avenue Armory.
Commission underwritten by a generous anonymous donor and DACAMERA’s Artistic Development Fund, with support from the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University and a project grant from New Music USA.