The Crossing To Present The World Premiere Of Bryars’ ‘A Native Hill’

By Nicole Kuchta

Award-winning chamber choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, will start off its domestic season with the world premiere of Gavin Bryars’ “A Native Hill.”

Bryars’ new a capella work, which will have its first performance at Philadelphia’s Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, set to texts from Wendell Berry’s 1968 essay of the same title. The follow up to his “The Fifth Century” (2016), which won The Crossing a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance, “A Native Hill” explores “how life can be experienced, with detailed descriptions of the minutiae of rural existence.”

“The combination of Wendell Berry, with whom we share a deep (and at times outspoken) concern for our relationship with the earth, and Gavin Bryars, whose vocal writing for The Crossing can reach deep into memory and emotional introspection, is like many roads converging in an inevitable way,” shares Nally in the press release. “Gavin’s music inspires us to stop, listen, and ponder. It is less a call to action than an invitation to remember again the beauty of the natural world and the life available to those who listen to that world.”

The performance will begin at 5 pm on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.