eco-musician, composer, speaker, global traveler

Author Archives: McClure Productions

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama University of Alabama I arrived in the deep South yesterday to snow storm shut down big chunks of Birmingham.  While my hosts have asked me if I brought this weather with me from Upstate New York, I assumed that they arranged it for me to make me feel welcome. I never want to underestimate…

“Voices of Freedom”

“Voices of Freedom” is a suite of choral works based a variety of American texts ranging from documents like the Preamble to the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation to an excerpt from Frederick Douglass’ “Speech on West Indies Emancipation” and the traditional spiritual, “Go Down Moses.”  When assembled together, we see how the legal proclamations…

“The Emancipation Oratorio”

“The Emancipation Oratorio”

This work is a conversation between a mix of textual and musical resources from the three points of the Atlantic Slave Triangle: Europe, West Africa and the Americas. The core of this oratorio is driven by a poem embedded in the walls of the Elmina Slave Castle, Cape Coast, Ghana. This poem, offered by the traditional chiefs of Ghana, invites visitors of this historical landmark into a global reflection on slavery.

“Voices of Timbuctoo: An Abolition Oratorio” Premiere

“Voices of Timbuctoo: An Abolition Oratorio” Premiere

This new musical work will draw upon primary historical documents of the 19th century settlement of black slaves in the Adirondacks. This settlement was intended to give blacks the right to vote by fulfilling the land ownership requirement. Many documents survive of this innovative experiment in the history of abolition, including letters, essays, speeches, and census records. This new musical work (SATB choir, piano, and percussion/estimated 20 minutes in length) will breath new life into this unique initiative with a combination of modern compositional techniques and 19th century African/European gestures.

“Paradiso” (Working Title)

This piece is inspired first by my love for Dante’s writings, but more importantly for “Emancipation Again,” this piece responds to an exciting new area of Dante studies. The recent work of University of Pittsburgh professor Dennis Looney has uncovered the untold story of collaboration and dialogue between the US and the emerging nation of Italy in the mid 19th century. While our country was struggling to remain whole in the violence of the Civil War, Italy was struggling to unite many separate countries on the Italian peninsula into a single nation. We often forget that the modern nation of Italy is younger the US. Ironically, a country with thousands of years of history, reaching back before the Romans, was formed as nation in the 1860’s.


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