Recently there were two Passion-based concerts performed in Southern California just in time for Easter, with music by two renouned film composers.
Last weekend, Academy Award nominated composer John Debney, accompanied by vocalist Lisbeth Scott, performed music from his heralded score to The Passion of the Christ as part of a special 50th Anniversary celebration of the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California. The performance will be aired on television globally as part of the "Hour of Power", reaching over 30 million people worldwide.
Last night, the Los Angeles Masters Chorale performed "Water Passion after St. Matthew", a 2000 piece by Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). This non-traditional piece for choir, violin, cello, soprano, bass, and percussion ran for 90 minutes uninterrupted. Bowls of water were on stage, lit from below, with colored lights from above adding to the atmosphere. The piece was part performance art, with two percussionists actually using the water to create various sounds and even musical notes. The violin and cello were used in a non-Western way, breaking free of the 12-tone limitations and going all-out. Similarly, the soloists were performing in all manner of styles, including a kargyraa style of throat singing, similar to the style established by the Gyuto monks of Tibet. The LAMC will perform the piece again tomorrow night, and tickets are available on their website linked above. For those not in the Southern California area, the concert was recorded by K-Mozart (105.1 FM) and will be broadcast in April.
Special thanks to Melanie Mullens Hoyson, Libby Huebner, and Ben White