A new multi-media symphony for orchestra, choir, actors, and projections.

MUSIC composed by Frank London, LIBRETTO by Judith Sloan

VISUALS by Warren Lehrer, with Brandon Campbell

Commissioned by the Queens Symphony Orchestra/Constantine Kitsopoulos - Music Director, with help from Meet the Composer.

Rehearsal Audio recorded at Queens College with The Queens College Choir, pianist Jeremy Chan.

The World Premiere took place on the evening of April 29, 2012 at The Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College. Performed by Queens Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Kitsopoulos, and a 190-voice chorus comprised of the Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir, James John, Music Director. Featured Tabla Soloist, Deep Singh.

Spoken word performed by Judith Sloan in English with additional translations performed in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic by Dailyn Despradel, Krussia, Haojie Huang, and Catherine Hanna.

This new, multi-media orchestral work, inspired by the multi-ethic America found in Queens, New York—the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States—is about migration, transformation, and the search for home. It is a 21st century, musical/poetic expression of the challenges and aspirations of so many of today’s American cities and their inhabitants who hail from many different parts of the globe.

A true collaboration, 1001 Voices is composed by Grammy-Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and Klezmatics band member Frank London. The libretto is written by award-winning author, actress, oral historian, and radio producer Judith Sloan. The animated projections are by acclaimed artist, typographer, and writer Warren Lehrer, who together with Sloan co-created Crossing the BLVD, winner of the Brendon Gill Prize. Queens Symphony Orchestra Music Director Constantine Kitsopuolus approached Sloan in 2009 about writing a new symphony that took off from the kind of work she and Lehrer had done with their multi-media Crossing the BLVD project and the work she was doing with immigrant teenagers in Queens. Sloan was reading The Arabian Nights at the time and ruminating on the ways stories keep us alive, which inspired the title and structural conceit - 1001 Voices. “Like Scheherezade, artists of all kinds keep the story going, and by keeping the story going, they keep our lives going, and sometimes all we have left after we’ve lost everything is the story,”

This living history expressed through Sloan’s poetry finds its home in Frank London’s moving score, a resonant amalgam of Western and Eastern classical, folk, jazz, and pop traditions channeled through this 21st Century master of World Music. This is the Grammy-winning composer’s first symphony. With the visual design for 1001 Voices, Lehrer—known for capturing the shape of thought and speech on the printed page—builds upon his recent forays into animation and motion graphics, teaming up with his former student Brandon Campbell, who currently is an animator with Comedy Central. Part expressionistic supertitles, part visual music, the panoramic format and metaphoric flux of words, colors, textures, shapes and images parallel the panoramic sweep and prismatic evolution of the music and text.
Nearly a thousand people of all ages, backgrounds, and musical tastes gave 1001 Voices a standing ovation. To see archival excerpts of the premiere performance and/or to find out how to program this moving and original new work for your orchestra, choir, college, concert hall, contact: earsay.org for more info

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