|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.
The Numinosum Blog
THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010
Next Thursday and Friday Numinous will be participating in a works-in-progress performance of To Begin the World Over Again, my collaboration with choreographer Edisa Weeks and her Delirious Dances Company.
Although I've only been publicly talking about the project beginning last summer, Edisa and I have been in the planning stages of the project for about three years. So for us it is wonderful to be moving forward to the DEFCON 2 writing music-choreographing stage. Here's the official short blurb about the project:
To Begin The World Over Again is inspired by the writings of Thomas Paine who was influential in the forming of the Declaration of Independence and who through his spirited advocacy for freedom and democracy inspired people to fight for independence. To Begin The World Over Again (whose title comes from a quote from Paine's Common Sense) fuses the vision of composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. and his ensemble Numinous, and choreographer Edisa Weeks and her company Delirious Dances, to explore: what is the relevance of Paine’s words to America today? How are freedom and democracy packaged and promoted? What is the “Promise Of America” that Paine so fervently believed in and wrote about? Is America living up to that promise?
June 3 & 4, 2010
Tribeca Performing Arts Center – Theater 2
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)
199 Chambers St. NYC 10007
by the West Side Highway; walk up the ramp and enter through the glass doors. Theater 2 is on the right.
For the June 2010 performances we will be showing two short sections: "These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls" and a shorter interlude entitled "Reel Liberty", followed by a Q & A. I will be conducting Numinous featuring: Ben Kono, Dan Willis (woodwinds); Stephanie Richards (trumpet); Amanda Monaco (guitar); Mike Baggetta (guitar); Megan Levin (harp); Deanna Witkowski (keyboard); Aaron Kotler (keyboard); Charenee Wade, Sara Serpa, Melissa Stylianou (voices); Jared Soldiviero (percussion); Ana Milosavljevic (violin); Will Martina (cello); Shawn Conley (bass).
"These are the times that try men's souls" is the oft quoted (and more oft misappropriated) stirring opening to Paine's The American Crisis. These words were written by Paine in 1776 as he was traveling with George Washington's troops on their long retreat from the Battle of New York, just steps ahead of enemy soldiers; and just before their famous Christmas night crossing over a frozen Delaware River in order to surprise the British and Hessian soldiers. The story is that Paine wrote these following words by campfire on the head of a drum:
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly--'tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to set a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.
The project received a grant from the American Music CenterLive Music for Dance Program in order to commission me to write the music and to help pay for the costs of the live Numinous musicians to perform it. The full evening performance of To Begin The World Over Again will premiere in June of 2011, which will include a symposium with leading historians, scholars and thinkers on democracy, social justice, and where America stands now in relation to its promise. But for now, we would love to see you on June 3rd or 4th, as your input would be invaluable in helping shape the evolution of the work.
(Photo credit: Thomas Paine from http://www.thomaspainefriends.org/paine-portraits-and-images.htm)
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 8:00 AM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.