Notes & Reviews:
Black Mountain Songs is "an exhilarating, 90-minute staged choral work with readings, videos, dancers and, at its core, the singing of the impressive Brooklyn Youth Chorus... The choral songs at the heart of this work are performed with confidence, energy and tenderness by the 50 skilled singers of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus... The sheer beauty of their singing was captivating." (The New York Times, November 2014). Bryce Dessner writes, "I've been interested in Black Mountain College for many years. I went to summer camp in North Carolina as a kid just a few miles from the site of the college and actually learned to play music in those same mountains that spawned some of the greatest artists and art movements of the 20th century. It has been an unbelievable joy to explore the history of Black Mountain with the amazingly talented Brooklyn Youth Chorus and to embrace the spirit of self-discovery and collaboration that was so essential to the college. While we set out to create a work inspired by the College, ultimately what we have made is something entirely new and our own, and I have learned more in this process from the courageous young singers of the Chorus than I could ever hope to teach them. Perhaps Black Mountain alumnus and writer Fielding Dawson said it best: "All the interviewing of former students and faculty are but shallow reminders, dim reflections. It is too bad, and may seem unfair, but so Black Mountain was, and if you weren't there, you will never know, or understand. Unless you create it. That's the catch. If you never were there, you'll have to create it."