Scored for 24 unaccompanied voices, Anonymous Man is an hour-long piece that expands on Michael Gordon’s eclectic approach to composition, layering minimalistic swirls of vocal sound on top of one another to create a hypnotic incantation. Gordon drew inspiration for the piece from his neighborhood in lower Manhattan. “When I moved into my loft on Desbrosses Street, the streets were empty, since few people lived there. But both then and now, there were the homeless. Over time, the neighborhood changed from an industrial warehouse district to a residential area. Anonymous Man is a memoir about my block. The piece is built around my memories of moving in, meeting my future wife for the first time there, and conversations I've had with two menRead more who made their home on the loading dock across the street.” Performing this tour de force is the Philadelphia-based choir The Crossing. Conducted by Donald Nally, The Crossing was formed by a group of friends in 2005 and has dedicated itself to expanding the contemporary choral music experience through commissions, collaborations, community, and performances that are characterized by a distinctive unity of sound and spirit.
Michael Gordon's Anonymous Man is a major work from a major composer in the so-called Minimalist camp. It is a personal reflection on home and homelessness, life and death, and being with and without. It has to do with living in his NYC neighborhood from the time it was a largely abandoned industrial zone through to its gentrification. It is about several homeless men who lived across from him there.
It has pulsating sections and others that gently overlap themselves within themselves. The mood is thoughtful. Time passes and backtracks. There is the inexorable, somehow.
The Crossing are the ideal group to make of this music something special. And they do. It is not music that is self-evident or predictable, even if you know Michael Gordon’s music well. It is the opposite of banal, yet it expresses an experience of things filled with a sameness. It is filled with a ruminative facticity that perhaps fits perfectly the mood of current locked-down stasis within a jarring turn of things to pass.
– Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read less
Works on This Recording
Anonymous Manby Michael Gordon Conductor: