Disappearing Landscapes

The 21st Century Consort’s December 2nd concert at historic St. Mark’s on Capitol Hill takes as its point of departure the extraordinary, current exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum (the Consort’s resident home) by London-based Black artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah. His “Purple” is, according to the HMSG press release, “An enveloping symphony of image and sound, surveying a variety of disappearing landscapes…a moving meditation on the impact of human progress on the planet.”

The musical score of Akomfrah’s installation pays tribute to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose “Fratres” inspirits our program. Its medievally infused spiritual space is also discernable in more abstract form in Olly Wilson’s “A City Called Heaven,” with its middle movement’s embedding of the eponymous spiritual. These works balance granitic music by British/Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga – her “Glacier” – and by the Consort’s close friend Jon Deak, also concerned about environmental endangerment.

We’re exhilarated to anticipate the holiday season with a new, Christmas-adjacent work by Jon Deak, “Ingmar and the Bear, a Tale for Our Time.” An eco-parable that shares Akomfrah’s profound concern for the fragile, fraught Anthropocene world, “Ingmar” is a natural – if starkly contrasting – companion to the Consort’s seasonal favorite, the ineluctable “Passion of Scrooge, or a Christmas Carol.” We look forward to sharing this wonderful new work – and the entire program – with all of you!

December 2, 2023 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill
4:00 pm | Pre-concert discussion with Christopher Kendall, Linda Hoeschler Blyberg and Jon Deak
5:00 pm | Performance

Eleanor Alberga – Glacier
Arvo Pärt – Fratres
Olly Wilson – A City Called Heaven (complete)
Jon Deak – Ingmar and the Bear, a Tale for Our Time (world premiere)