Madrigals - for centuries, we've loved the way they launch words right off the page, springing to life with their rich rhetoric, witty charm, and colorful drama. In A New Love Story: Madrigals Reimagined, Nightingale, in its characteristic concept-driven flare, offers a 21st century spin on the beloved Medieval and Renaissance Artform. The arch of the concert takes us through the process of a modern love story - but instead of involving royalty, duty, chastity, and gender roles (all too common in Renaissance madrigal poetry) our take offers a fresh perspective on romance: namely that we can work through the barriers to love, despite cultural or social pressures, and thrive with our hearts beating and voices singing.
What's more? We collaborated with poets Ayla Goktan, Lee Nevitt, and Fayaz Kabani, who wrote luscious, evocative word play which were then set to music by Nightingale composers!
Join us on May 15th at 8pm ET to hear five marvelous madrigals, including three world premieres by Nathan Halbur, Angela Yam, and Laura Nevitt.
Trust - it is difficult to earn, and easily broken. Building trust with our neighbors, despite our differences, is no simple feat - especially now. We hope that through the experience of this concert, we can begin to find ways to “go and open the door...at least there will be a draft.”
trUSt is a collaboration with Utah-based composer Andrew Maxfield and SALT Contemporary Dance. The concert features Maxfield’s compositions encouraging the bringing together of people, as well as newly composed pieces featuring the words of Nightingale members and their own thoughts on trust.
A note from the composer: “Despite the news, humans are better at trusting one another than any other species. That has been our evolutionary superpower, and can be our future too. We've collaborated on a concert that explores the theme of trust—what it is, what it feels like, perhaps how to create or rebuild it when it has been lost. The message of the concert is: begin the song exactly where you are. You and I have to put the "us" in "trust," and the only place to start is right here, right now. I'm so excited to work with Nightingale on this very collaborative and multidisciplinary concert.”
Interspersed between the music are clips of a conversation about the science of trust, between Andrew Maxfield, James Coan (Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Virginia) and Hal Movius (Applied Psychologist, Author, and Research Collaborator at Ethical Systems)
Learn more about our collaborators: www.andrewmaxfield.com www.saltdance.com jamescoan.com moviusconsulting.com/who-we-are/hal-movius
About Andrew Maxfield:
The compositions of ANDREW MAXFIELD—hailed as “rhythmically vital … superbly judged … [and] tender” by Fanfare Magazine—have been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. A recent winner of the King’s Singer’s New Music Prize (Jury Special Commendation), Andrew has been a Composer Fellow of the National Collegiate Choral Organization and Composer-in-Residence for Newburyport Choral Society. Recent commissions include choral works for the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Hillsdale College, and Salem Hills High School; an orchestral adaptation of the Caldecott honor book, They All Saw A Cat, for the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts in New York City; and a concert-length score for SALT Contemporary Dance, showcased at Lincoln Center. His album, Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, was released by Tantara Records and his “well-crafted, approachable” works (Dr. George Case, The Boston Cecilia) are published by Walton, Santa Barbara, and Yalecrest. Ensembles which have performed Andrew’s music recently include USC Thornton Chamber Singers, Emporia Symphony Orchestra, Carroll University Symphonic Band and Choir, Wingate University Singers, Utah Philharmonic, The Piedmont Singers, University of Pennsylvania Chamber Choir, and Choral Arts Initiative.
Andrew studied music at Brigham Young University, where he was valedictorian and where he occasionally teaches. He has pursued advanced studies in counterpoint and harmony at the EAMA–Nadia Boulanger Institute in Paris, France, graduate composition studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and doctoral studies at the University of Bristol (UK). His primary teachers include Philip Lasser (Juilliard), John Pickard, Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Marti Epstein, and he has also studied with Aaron Jay Kernis and Steven Sametz through the ACDA Choral Composers Forum. He also holds an MBA in Arts Administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Andrew lives with his wife Liz Davis Maxfield—a professional cellist, expert in Irish traditional music, and rock climber—and their two handsome, high-octane boys (plus a hyper puppy) just downhill from Sundance in Provo, Utah.
The dramatic shift from day to night and the resulting play of light between the sun, moon, and numberless stars in the sky did not go unnoticed or unappreciated by U.S. poets from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With words, they beautifully wove an appreciation for the natural cycles in nature and humankind's profound endeavor to understand and live within them. The Divine in Nature, Nightingale's upcoming program, presents a taste of such memorable poems with original musical settings by Nightingale members. The concert set, coincidentally Nightingale's international debut and featured in the 2021 edition of the Ketevan Sacred Music Festival, takes listeners on a journey through a day, from the light of day to the dark of midnight, as each piece describes a special moment along Earth's twenty-four hour light cycle.
The order of songs on the program reflects a logical flow through human time: Day ("Day" - Paul Laurence Dunbar) turns to afternoon ("a certain slant of light" - Emily Dickinson) which becomes evening ("An Hymn to the Evening - Phyllis Wheatley) which fades to night ("Night" - Paul Laurence Dunbar). The set ends with Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold can Stay,” emphasizing the ever changing dynamics of cosmic forces in our world which reflect the impermanent, precious nature of our human lives. We hope you enjoy listening to this virtual concert as much as we enjoyed recording and creating it. Thanks to Ketevan Sacred Music Festival.
This unique program was conceived of during the Fall of 2020 when, following Nightingale's first virtual concert, the group was invited by Dr. Santiago Girelli to participate in the 2021 Ketevan Sacred Music Festival, an annual gathering in Old Goa, India of myriad choirs and instrumentalists from diverse spiritual backgrounds and musical traditions from around the world. The theme of the festival is summarized in one word: coexistence. Nightingale is honored both by the invitation to participate in the festival by contributing a unique virtual concert program, but also to receive the opportunity to represent the native poetry of the United States, Nightingale's country of origin. Learn more about Ketevan at: https://www.ketevansacredmusicfestival.com/
Creating a Virtual Concert during a pandemic. The process of creating this program has been unique, given the challenges of the pandemic. Co-Artistic Directors Laura Nevitt and Benjamin Perry formed the concept of the program, selected poems which showcased a diverse group of U.S. poets, and crafted the concert's through-line. All pieces were composed by members of the ensemble: John Haukoos, Nicholas Ford, Kelvyn Koning, Benjamin Perry, and Laura Nevitt. To create the recordings, Nightingale’s sixteen core members met weekly for online zoom rehearsals, and singers recorded individual audio tracks from home which were then mixed and mastered together. For the final visual product, Nightingale members and videographer Wesley Verge met together on a cold winter afternoon in the snow laden Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University to film the ensemble lip-syncing the program while socially distanced. The final step in the process is unfolding as we speak, with the Ketevan Music Festival's production team working side by side with Nightingale artists to polish and assemble a final virtual concert to air on April 6th, 2020.
It is our hope that the beautiful, snowy landscape of Boston's arboretum underlines the poetry and music in our program to instill a sense of awe and wonder for the cycles in nature and our lives. Links to view the program will be posted soon.
- Written by Co-Artistic Directors Benjamin Perry and Laura Nevitt
Day -Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar -Music by John Haukoos
a certain slant of light -Poem by Emily Dickinson -Music by Nicholas Ford
A Hymn to the Evening -Poem by Phyllis Wheatley -Music by Kelvyn Koning
Night -Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar -Music by Benjamin Kapp Perry
Nothing Gold Can Stay -Poem by Robert Frost -Music by Laura Nevitt
Poster designs by Nathan Halbur, Bass and Composer in Nightingale