Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
"I don’t know exactly when in those scary, uncertain early days of the pandemic, in March 2020 at 7 pm each evening, the people of New York City started to lean out windows, fill backyards & rooftops, and gather on stoops and streets to cheer essential workers—those that could not stay home because they treated the sick and dying, stocked the grocery store shelves, or still drove the buses and subway trains so that the city (and the lives of others) could continue, even if only partially.
Most evenings our family would come outside on our stoop and we clapped, cheered, and gave thanks along with everyone else. After the cheering faded everyone would disappear back inside. As the weeks went on however, after the 7 pm cheering, we would stay outside with our neighbors on the stoop rather than return inside. Spread out among two adjoining stoops, we talked, laughed, and shared stories and wine. And evening by evening, the news of growing social justice protests against systemic injustice mingled with our own more mundane individual realities; and story by story, our worries and fears during the pandemic began to lessen as we found true connections with friends. And in doing so, together, we all undisappeared."
This is the background for my new composition “The Undisappeared,” words & music by me and commissioned by the multiple Grammy nominated choir The Crossing and conductor Donald Nally for their new project Carols after a Plague. They commissioned twelve new carols from composers Leila Adu, Vanessa Lann, Alex Berko, Edith Canat de Chizy, Samantha Fernando, Mary Jane Leach, Shara Nova, Joseph C Phillips Jr (me!), Nina Shekar, Tyshawn Sorey, Eric Whitacre, LJ White; and there are three chances this month to catch Carols after a Plague (click on links for tickets):
WASHINGTON DC/MARYLAND/NORTHERN VIRGINIA
December 12th @ 3pm
Dekelboum Concert Hall, College Park, MD
December 17th @ 7pm
Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center @ UPenn
December 19th @ 5pm
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
(The performance on the 19th features a pre-talk and post-concert reception with the composers)
And stay tuned for more information about the recording releasing in 2022!
📸: by me; friends on our and our neighbor’s stoops June 12, 2020
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.