Reynolda House Museum of American Art Presents World Premiere of "Songs in the Rearview Mirror" by Kenneth Frazelle
Thursday, March 18, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sharyn Turner 336.758.5580 email@example.com or Sarah R. Smith 336.758.5524 firstname.lastname@example.org
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (March 17, 2010) A concert for voice and piano titled "Songs in the Rearview Mirror" will have its world premiere at Reynolda House Museum of American Art on Friday, March 26 at 8 p.m. The concert is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "William Christenberry: Photographs, 19612005,"on view in the Babcock Wing gallery of the Museum through June 27, 2010.
"Songs in the Rearview Mirror" features a cycle of songs by North Carolina composer Kenneth Frazelle. Part road trip, part reflection on photography, and part childhood reminiscence, "Songs in the Rearview Mirror" is an evocative and haunting portrait of the South through song. With Frazelle at the keyboard, the Reynolda House premiere will feature Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett of the musical duo Polecat Creek.
Admission for members and students is $8, non-members $12. Reynolda House Museum of American Art is located at 2250 Reynolda Road in Winston Salem. Advance ticket purchase is suggested. For information and to purchase tickets, call 336.758.5150.
"Songs in the Rearview Mirror" grew out of Frazelle's fascination with the artistic progeny of rural Hale County, Alabama. That ragged land was home to the Depression-era sharecroppers depicted by James Agee and Walker Evans in their classic book of prose and photographs, "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." And beginning in the 1960s, Hale County's decaying architecture and shifting landscape were captured in the celebrated photographs, sculpture and paintings of Alabama native William Christenberry. When Frazelle packed a car and followed the artists' paths to Hale County, he not only found new sources of inspiration but unexpectedly unearthed many poignant, nostalgic and often turbulent memories from his own Southern childhood.
With Frazelle's unique synthesis of folk song and art song, "Songs in the Rearview Mirror" takes listeners on a journey past abandoned barns, tangles of kudzu, and evangelizing road signs. Listeners enter the bleak farmhouses of the poor, and peer into the troubled home of a sensitive young boy. The work's eight songs are united by refreshing harmonies, coloristic piano writing, and the undulating rhythm of the highway.
"Songs in the Rearview Mirror" is one of Kenneth Frazelle's most ambitious and most personal works. His previous compositions for voice have reached international audiences through performances by Dawn Upshaw, Odetta, Jan DeGaetani and Cassandra Wilson.
The exhibition, "William Christenberry: Photographs, 19612005," includes 58 photographs, one sculpture, and three signs, which chronicle the effects of the passage of time on the buildings, back roads, and landmarks in rural Hale County, Alabama, the artist's hometown. This exhibition is an overview of the photographic component of Christenberry's life's worka practice spanning more than four decades and employing a range of formatsas he journeys on a personal investigation of both the American South and his own heritage.
Aperture, a not-for-profit organization devoted to photography and the visual arts, has organized this traveling exhibition and produced the accompanying publications.
Reynolda House received support for the exhibition from lead sponsor Hawthorn, a Member of the PNC Financial Services Group. This exhibition was also supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation's premier American art museums, with masterpieces by Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe and Gilbert Stuart among its permanent collection. Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features traveling and original exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings and other events. The museum is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House and adjacent Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village feature a spectacular public garden, dining, shopping and walking trails. For more information, please visit reynoldahouse.org or call 336.758.5150.