Coming up this week in Toronto is the next concert of the third iteration of Crossing Borders. Earlier today I chatted away about how and why I created this series. You can watch the FB “Live” video archive here: https://www.facebook.com/maureenbattsoprano/videos/1782912332017356/
For this tour in particular, I put out a call for scores, and took quite a bit of time before deciding on what I wanted to include on this concert (honestly, I was working on my album…but also knew that nothing had “clicked” for me as a program, though I received many amazing, wonderful, beautiful, evocative pieces). I am always humbled by the response from a call for scores – the fact that anyone wants to send me their work is always such a delight and an honour. And then I get to read through the works and wait for the chemistry to develop between works. Thank you to all those composers and sound creators who submitted things to me for consideration. I was honoured to peruse your works. And I’m so appreciative of you considering ME. I was originally looking to explore winter and holidays-in-winter themes, but, over time, this concept developed into compassion. I kept reflecting on how many (often crappy/horrible) things were happening around the world. The news was a constant reminder that the world can be such cold, cruel place. My heart wanted more. It wanted to warm up. I felt an urge to explore and promote compassion. And this urge was immediate and serious (hence, “Mission”).
It is imperative to me that Crossing Borders be an avenue for diversity, equity, and inclusion. I want to help tell stories of those who might otherwise not be heard. I am only one person – but, in this case, that’s a bonus. I only answer to myself and can make SURE that my programs have (as a starting point, omg) gender parity. But I’m not interested in stopping there–that shouldn’t even be something we’re talking about anymore (AND YET HERE WE ARE). I’m also not interested in working with creators simply to satisfy tokenism. My desire for Crossing Borders to be a vessel for voices and stories is both burning and genuine. And I encourage you to be in touch if you have ideas on how we can celebrate humanity, and bring our communities (local or globally) together. Art is the answer here. We have the answer.
Please join me and Cheryl Duvall on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 at Heliconian Hall. Thank you to Arts Nova Scotia for supporting both the Halifax and Toronto concerts.
Tickets here and at the door: http://www.tickethalifax.com/events/50926361/crossing-borders-mission-compassion
Works on this program living Canadian and American composers including two premières by Robert Bauer and Saman Shahi.
Other composers featured on the program include Leslie Arden, Monica Pearce, Kala Pierson, Fiona Ryan, Rodney Sharman, and Kotoka Suzuki.