The Arc in the Sky

nv6240 - the crossing - arch in the sky - front cover517x517_2x.jpg
nv6240 - the crossing - arch in the sky - front cover517x517_2x.jpg

The Arc in the Sky


The Arc in the Sky, Kile Smith’s 2018 setting of journal entries and poems by Robert Lax (1915–2000) is an epic, hour-long tour de force of thought and feeling that traverses topics ranging from Louis Armstrong to Jack Kerouac, and from Jerusalem to the shores of the island of Patmos. The Arc in the Sky marks Smith’s sixth commission from The Crossing, which has also recorded his Where Flames a Word and Vespers.

Premiered at The Month of Moderns 2018, The Crossing’s annual festival of new music for choir, Smith’s composition for unaccompanied choir is comprised of three major sections, beginning with the ecstasy of “Jazz,” for Robert Lax, a metaphor for life born of his early days in New York City; the extraordinary conclusion to the third movement “Cherubim & Palm Trees” is like a revival meeting. The middle section, “Praise,” celebrates the spirituality found in both the simple and expansive; the panoramic temple and the little things. “Arc” ends the work by hearkening back to the emotion of the opening, a culmination of Lax’s personal and poetic voyage.

Kile Smith – The Arc in the Sky (2018)

I. Jazz
         1. why did they all shout (3:53)
         2. there are not many songs (5:27)
         3. Cherubim & Palm-Trees (9:47)

II. Praise
         4. I want to write a book of praise (4:45)
         5. The light of the afternoon is on the houses (5:54)
         6. Psalm (7:15)

III. Arc
         7. Jerusalem (6:53)
         8. I would stand and watch them (9:55)
         9. The Arc (12:02)

The Crossing
Donald Nally,
John Grecia, keyboards

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