A MORE CONVENIENT SEASON by Yotam Haber
January 25, 2014, REDCAT, West Coast Premiere
Taking its title from a key phrase in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s seminal “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” internationally acclaimed composer Yotam Haber’s soaring, impassioned three-movement work for orchestra, chorus, four soloists, electronic sound and video commemorates watershed events of the Civil Rights Movement that took place in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963—in particular the fatal bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. Haber’s immense 75-minute opus is performed by the CalArts Orchestra and Choral Ensemble with soloists Sara Sinclair Gomez, Sharon Kim, Kelliann Wright, Quayla Bramble. The performance was held together under the direction of Mark Menzies, and accompanied by a live soundscape created by Philip White and a silent documentary directed by filmmaker David Peterson. The text of the oratorio incorporates writings by Dr. King as well as oral histories and FBI records from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.