Crossing Over by the Skylark Vocal Ensemble from Sono Luminus is comprised of compositions that depict the dream state at the end of life. The album commemorates British composer Sir John Tavener with the first US commercial recording of “Butterfly Dreams”, an 8-movement dream-state piece composed in 2003.
American composers are prominently featured as well, with a rare recording of William Schuman’s “Carols of Death”, based on the poetry of Walt Whitman and two young American compositional voices, the debut recording of Robert Vuichard’s “Heliocentric Meditation” based on the poetry of John Donne, and a recording of “Elegy” by Daniel Elder, based on the tune “Taps.”
The album also features stunning and seldom-heard music from the Icelandic choral tradition, including the first US recording of “Requiem” by Jón Leifs and an inspiring ancient psalmsetting by contemporary Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir.
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What awaits us at the end? What will our final hours feel like? What memories will flit through our consciousness? What dreams? What visions? What emotions will we feel? Whose is the last face we will see? What, if anything, will lie beyond?
Crossing Over is a window into our collective imagination, a musical narrative of what our final hours may feel like.
Perhaps through imagining our last hours on earth, we can better prepare ourselves to face our time when it comes.
Perhaps through imagining a fate we all share, we can better understand each other and our common bonds.
Perhaps through imagining how we might feel when looking back on our life, we can focus more clearly on what we wish to do with each day that we have.