Kile Smith: The Arc in the Sky The Crossing & Donald Nally
- Kile Smith (b. 1956): The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 1:
- 1The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 1 "Jazz": I. Why Did They All Shout03:53
- 2The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 1 "Jazz": II. There Are Not Many Songs05:27
- 3The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 1 "Jazz": III. Cherubim & Palm-Trees09:47
- The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 2:
- 4The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 2 "Praise": IV. I Want to Write a Book of Praise04:45
- 5The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 2 "Praise": V. The Light of the Afternoon Is on the Houses05:54
- 6The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 2 "Praise": VI. Psalm07:15
- The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 3:
- 7The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 3 "Arc": VII. Jerusalem06:53
- 8The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 3 "Arc": VIII. I Would Stand and Watch Them09:55
- 9The Arc in the Sky, Pt. 3 "Arc": IX. The Arc12:02
Info for Kile Smith: The Arc in the Sky
Professional chamber choir The Crossing moves listeners with their new release THE ARC IN THE SKY, a breathtaking performance of the eponymous work by accomplished choral composer Kile Smith. Based on texts by Robert Lax (1915–2000), it constitutes an American pilgrimage into spirituality.
Lax, nowadays most notorious for being an associate of Trappist monk and writer Thomas Merton, is also a prolific poet in his own right. Influenced by varied phenomena such as jazz, nature, human acrobatics, and notably inspired by the Beat generation (though not considered a part of it), Lax penned highly subjective, fragmented pieces of verse. Composer Kile Smith, known for his exceptionally aesthetic choral compositions, elevates Lax's poems to a completely new level: the composer manages to both lend musical structure to the poetry while also liberating it harmonically from the written word. THE ARC IN THE SKY finds its interpretational match in The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally. One cannot overstate the richness of color and depth demonstrated by The Crossing. Smith, Nally, and the choir impressively reveal the inner workings of the relation between text and music.
THE ARC IN THE SKY is a formidable example for the heights which artistic expression can reach when its individual elements – that is, creative spirits from multiple spheres – work together in harmony. It is a pleasure to behold, and an even greater pleasure to listen to.
Donald Nally, conductor, creative director
is a professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. Consistently recognized in critical reviews, The Crossing has been hailed as “ardently angelic” (Los Angeles Times, 4/14) and “something of a miracle” (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/14). Formed by a group of friends in 2005, the ensemble has since grown exponentially and “has made a name for itself in recent years as a champion of new music.” (The New York Times, 2/14). Highly sought-after for collaborative projects, The Crossing was the resident choir of the Spoleto Festival, Italy in 2007; appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University in the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); joined Bang on a Can’s first Philadelphia Marathon; and has appeared with the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, red fish blue fish, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, Dolce Suono, and in the summer of 2013, The Rolling Stones. The ensemble has sung in such venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art; they made their Lincoln Center debut this past summer in a world premiere of John Luther Adams in a collaboration with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, eighth blackbird, Jack Quartet, and TILT brass.
The Crossing frequently commissions works and has presented over forty world premieres. Upcoming projects include commissions with Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, David T. Little, Joel Puckett, Santa Ratniece, Caroline Shaw, Kile Smith, Lewis Spratlan, Hans Thomalla, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Toivo Tulev. The ensemble recently released two recordings on the Innova label: Christmas Daybreak– with world premiere recordings of James MacMillan and Gabriel Jackson—and I want to live – with the complete choral works for women by David Lang. Recordings soon to be released include Lewis Spratlan’s Hesperus is Phosphorus and Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century, both commissioned by The Crossing and on the Innova label, as well as Choral Music of Greg Brown on the Navona label. The Crossing is the recipient of two ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award from Chorus America.
is responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting at The Crossing. He is also director of choral organizations at Northwestern University and chorus master of The Chicago Bach Project. He has held distinguished tenures as chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Spoleto USA, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has served as artistic director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati and the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. Among the many ensembles Donald has guest conducted are the Latvian State Choir in Riga, the Grant Park Symphony Chorus in Chicago, the Philharmonic Chorus of London, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. His ensembles have sung with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, Spoleto USA, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, and ICE; his work is heard on numerous recordings on the Chandos, Navona, and Innova record labels. Donald is the recipient of the distinguished alumni merit award from Westminster Choir College and the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America; he is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music - in 2002 with The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and in 2015 with The Crossing. His book, Conversations with Joseph Flummerfelt, was published in 2011.