Beth Morrison Projects & Harlem Stage to Showcase ‘Song Cycles’

By David Salazar

Beth Morrison Projects and Harlem Stage will team up to present “Song Cycles” on Oct. 28 and 29, 2022.

The two showcases will feature new music by non-binary and women composers at Harlem Stage Gatehouse.

First up on the program is Tamar-kali’s “Melanc’Holy Ghosts and Other Mothers,” a work featuring poems published between 1920 and 1926 by such writers as Gwendolyn Bennet, Jessie Redmond Fauset, and Lola Ridge. The work is composed for drums, bass, guitar, and string quartet.

Next up is Yaz Lancaster’s “Ouroboros,” which evokes soundtracks from horror films. It features three high voices, electronics, guitar, and strings as well as poems by Laura Henriksen.

“I listened for a year to everything horror related—movie soundtracks, video games—searching for the most terrifying sounds I could find,” Lancaster said about the composition in an official press statement. “When I’m watching a horror movie, the sound is the most compelling thing. If I turn off the sound and watch a horror movie it becomes funny—it takes away from the whole experience. So I wanted to create an experience that inverses this, that turns off the visual.”

Finally, the program will feature Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa-Zou Mambano’s “Marimuka.” The work, titled after the Zimbabwean word for wilderness is dedicated to Zimbabweans who left their motherland to work in a diaspora.