Intersection, Nashville’s professional contemporary instrumental ensemble, and Nashville in Harmony, a 120-voice mixed citywide chorus of LGBT people and their allies, have announced the program and further details for Spectrum. The event, which includes new music by TJ Cole, will take place on May 18 and 19 at OZ Arts Nashville.
Nashville in Harmony and Intersection have commissioned a new 20-minute work, titled “Those Moments,” by composer TJ Cole for chorus and instrumental ensemble that explores the concept of the gender spectrum. TJ Cole has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony, among others.
Intersection and Nashville in Harmony have worked with additional community partners to engage the LGBTQ+ community and its allies in the planning and implementation of this project that incorporates the stories of Nashville in Harmony singers into the new work.
“During my visit to Nashville last fall, I was able to meet with members of Nashville in Harmony and record some of them speaking about the broad topic of gender,” says Cole. “Through working on this project, I have reflected on how powerful memories can be. They’re not only impactful on a personal level, but the sharing of memories can allow us to gain more perspective, insight, understanding of each other, and connection to others.”
One of the things that most excited Cole about the opportunity was the chance to work with a LGBT community group. “I have not been able to work with a specifically queer-oriented community before. And that was something that was of interest to me. Because I often get work with musical ensembles that I feel very detached from on a personal level. So there was something very relatable for me to be able to work with Nashville in Harmony.”
During Cole’s visit with Nashville in Harmony, interviews with the groups members were recorded, and a selection of those recordings became part of the performance, and shaped the music Cole wrote.
“So those interviews are really what shaped the entire piece, which wasn’t actually the original plan, but they were just so willing to share very real, personal experiences. And I was able to hire a friend of mine, a poet and we’re in a band together so we have experience collaborating, writing music lyrics together. And they were a really big part in figuring out how to structure the piece with these interviews and how to incorporate text and helping create the text.”
Intersection will also present Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Mania and Liza Lim’s Voodoo Child. Salonen and Lim’s works will showcase virtuosic talents from cellist Michael Samis and vocalist Rebekah Alexander. “Salonen’s piece is a rhythmic, vibrant roller coaster while Lim’s piece demonstrates passionate poetry through the discovery of new instrumental and vocal colors that extend the sonic universe,” says Kelly Corcoran, Artistic Director of Intersection.
Nashville in Harmony will present additional works throughout the evening including Christopher Tin’s Sogno Di Volare and Annie Lenox’s 1000 Beautiful Things, among others.
“Building on the theme of self-expression, Nashville in Harmony will perform music that is both powerful and aspirational, with lyrics by Leonardo da Vinci (Sogno Di Volare), Emma Lazarus (Until All of Us Are Free), and Annie Lennox (1000 Beautiful Things), featuring an exciting palette of musical styles including both heroic video game music as well as sixties jazz,” says Don Schlosser, Conductor of Nashville in Harmony.