A Far Cry’s “The Blue Hour” Winning Accolades

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A Far Cry’s ambitious commissioning project, The Blue Hour, received attention and high praise throughout the fall tour. The evening-length song-cycle features new music by Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, and features Grammy-winning singer Luciana Souza.

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REVIEW: Washington Post: “The Blue Hour” song cycle mesmerizes

Working together, composers Rachel Grimes, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova and Caroline Shaw, the Grammy Award-winning singer Luciana Souza and the 18 string players of A Far Cry have come up with a gorgeous and remarkably unified work.

REVIEW: I Care If You Listen

The Blue Hour is a remarkable achievement by five of today’s leading composers–not women composers, just composers–and an outstanding group of performers. Throughout, the self-led A Far Cry performed with the precision and interconnectedness of chamber music while never overpowering the soloist. Luciana Souza’s instrumental-like command of timbre and minimal use of vibrato made for an impressive and intimate performance. The final result of these disparate parts coming together is an incredibly moving work that certainly accomplishes the intent of the project: to elicit empathy and provide ‘a lens through which to see our own world with greater clarity.’

PREVIEW: WBUR’s ARTery: From A To Z, A Far Cry cycles through Carolyn Forché’s Blue Hour

I’m starting to think of this like a modern-day ‘Winterreise,’ ” Unterman says, referring to Schubert’s famous song cycle. “The structure is like a catalog, like telling the story of a life that is coming to an end, choosing the most poignant moments.

PREVIEW: I Care If You Listen: 5 Questions to the composers of The Blue Hour

We’re at a pivotal moment in time when we’re critically aware of the need to bring all voices to the fore—in politics, in the workplace, and in arts and culture. Contemporary music has a unique opportunity to contribute to this conversation, to give voice to the ineffable aspects of our shared humanity in a way that no other art form can. 

PREVIEW: National Sawdust Log Journal: The Art of Collaboration

There was never, ever a moment – I don’t think anyone felt that we didn’t have something to inspire us. The musicianship of A Far Cry, for one thing, is profoundly wonderful, an ideal type of opportunity to be able to compose for, because you all are so collectively led. That means that we’re really talking to you all about this. We’re not dealing with a hierarchy where we’re submitting music to a conductor who’s then going to interpret that and direct you in that. You all will have your own conversations about how to interpret what we’re making… of course, we’re all going to be in the room together in a week or two, which I’m so thrilled about, and then we’ll have further micro-dialogues about articulations, little moments.

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