The Gulf (between you and me), a major project that has taken years of planning, brought together composers, a poet, an artist, and a variety of musicians from Japan and America to join The Crossing in exploring a particular theme: how we seem to hear what the earth is saying to us with the same sad inability with which we often listen to those we most love. Luxembourg-American poet Pierre Joris has written a three-part poem that tied the three performances and composers of this project together. To get to know all three composers better, we offered ancillary events — a film and two concerts — that will give insight to the artists’ work. We welcomed Chris Jonas’s quartet, Sun Spits Cherries, and Gene Coleman’s ensemble of Japanese musicians playing a variety of traditional and contemporary instruments in Ensemble N_JP.
Saroyan wrote, “The intention of art has always been to deepen, extend, elevate, ennoble, strengthen, and refresh the experience of living. It cannot begin to do these things until it accepts part of the management of the physical life of man, which is now in the hands of inferior men.” Here we make no pretensions toward having answers, we simply aim to sing beautiful, thought-provoking music that is relevant to our lives as we engage art to better understand our world.
Each concert featured one new work for The Gulf (between you and me) and several interesting works on related subjects — how we perceive the natural world around us, how we love it, how it continues to defy and define us, captured by artists today, as throughout the history of art.