After darkness falls on Winter Solstice, “a groundbreaking virtual choral project” will involve Elektra Women’s Choir, which is directed by longtime Guildford-area resident Morna Edmundson.
The Vancouver-based choral group has collaborated with San Francisco’s WomenSing to create The Light Of Hope Returning, a 70-voice tapestry of women’s voices featuring the music of Shawn Kirchner and hand-drawn animation of Kevork Mourad.
In homage to the holiday season, a free online performance on Monday, Dec. 21 will also feature Canadian soloist Allison Girvan and instrumentalists from San Francisco Opera Orchestra, starting at 6 p.m. Pacific time.
“The Light of Hope Returning poignantly reflects the current state of global uncertainty, while at the same time ultimately trusting in the cycle of the seasons and the hope embodied by the eventual return of light,” says an event advisory.
Details and a preview video are posted to thelightofhopereturning.com.
The animated concert promises arrangements of traditional and new carols, and aims to reflect “the rich variety of American musical tradition, featuring folk and gospel styles, Appalachian songs and spirituals, and the colours of fiddle, hammered dulcimer, bluegrass-style piano, and jubilant jazz saxophone.”
New York-based visual artist Mourad specializes in live performances combining video and hand-drawn elements, as well as multi-layered paintings.
Over the past three-plus decades, Elektra has commissioned and premiered more than 100 compositions and arrangements. In August, the choir released “Fire Flowers,” its 17th collection of music.
Elsewhere, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra presents “The Longest Night: Music for Solstice (Solace),” a series of filmed performances, on Dec. 20-21 at www.vi-co.org and also YouTube.
Filmed at Deep Cove Shaw Theatre earlier this month, the videos feature small ensembles and soloists playing repertoire that “spans cultures, centuries and continents,” including traditional Persian and Chinese music alongside new compositions by those in the VICO’s annual Sounds Global Composers’ Workshop, and more.
“We share these performances in the hope that this colourful, innovative music, created and performed in a spirit of cross-cultural collaboration, will help to combat the darkness of winter, and the unsettled feeling of this unusual holiday season,” says an event advisory.
Featured musicians include Diba Ensemble with tenor Jamal Kurdistani, an intercultural chamber quartet composed of John Oliver (guitar), Ali Razmi (tar), Dai-Lin Hsieh (zheng) and Joy Yeh (harp), the Cloud Bell Ensemble of Yun Song (erhu) and Geling Jiang (sanxian), Liam Hockley (clarinet) and singer/songwriter Willy Miles-Grenzberg.