Edie Hill

The Crossing Donald Nally Conductor





The choral music of Minnesota-based composer Edie Hill shines on CLAY JUG, a compendium of large and small works for a cappella choir and choir accompanied by chamber ensemble. Though the works featured on CLAY JUG vary in scope, they all demonstrate Hill’s keen sensitivity to ensemble texture and harmonic density, as well as the incorporation of text across four languages.


In CLAY JUG, Hill excels at shifting the listener’s perspective as they listen to the choir. In the most straightforward cases, such as in The Fenix, Hill moves the choir in between the music’s foreground and background to accommodate a vocal soloist. More dramatic is what happens in From the Wingbone of the Swan and “Clay Jug” – an excerpt from a large work of Hill’s entitled A Sound Like This – wherein three or four musical layers converse within the choir itself, or between the choir and accompanying instruments.


It is obvious in the works on CLAY JUG that Hill has a strong connection to the texts she sets. Three of the album’s works – The Fenix, Alma beata et Bella and Cancion de el Alma – draw their texts from very old European sources dating back to the 10th, 15th and 16th centuries, respectively. Hill does not necessarily modernize these ancient words in her settings of them, but she succeeds in meaningfully personalizing them through her musical language.


Along these lines, Hill describes the influence of the language these works’ texts on their aesthetics, particularly in the case of The Fenix, which uses its poetry’s original medieval Anglo-Saxon language. Similarly, Alma beata et Bella seems to make homage to Renaissance-era musical tropes contemporaneous to its text’s origins, but, in both works, Hill’s individual voice comes through with only slight alteration.


The works on CLAY JUG feature a musical language that pairs beautifully with choir, employing dissonance with care and purpose, as well as freely shifting texture to serve Hill’s compositional designs.




CLAY JUG demonstrates the composer’s keen ability to shift seamlessly between four different languages and mold her compositional voice to the particular characteristics of each


From the Wingbone of the Swan is the only work to feature accompanied choir, which makes it an important point of comparison with the other pieces on the album


Through her lectures and workshops, Hill actively cultivates the talents of young composers and musicians as well as educating and engaging the public in the music of today.  She was Composer in Residence at St. Paul’s The Schubert Club from 2005-2017 where she ran and grew the Composer Mentorship Program for gifted high school composers


A three-time McKnight Artist Fellow and a two-time Bush Artist Fellow, Hill has received grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Meet The Composer, ASCAP, and Chamber Music America





Gregory W. Brown

The Crossing














Recorded July 13-15 2016 at The High Point at St. Peter’s Church

in the Great Valley in Malvern PA


Recording Session Producer Jeff LeRoy

Recording Session Engineer Eugene Lew


Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Brandon MacNeil

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Editing, Mixing & Mastering Nate Hunter

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Design Emily Roulo

Marketing Scott Murphy


Release Date February 10, 2017

Catalog #: NV6073





Edie Hill composer

The Crossing  •  Donald Nally conductor


From the Wingbone of a Swan

Edie Hill & Timothy O’Brien, text


1 i.  Prelude to Speech

2 ii. Source

3 iii. Paleolithic Flute


4  The Fenix

Text from the Exeter Book


5  Cancion de el alma: en una noche escura

San Juan de la Cruz, text


6  Clay Jug

Kabir, text; VERSIONS by Robert Bly


7  We Bloomed in Spring

St. Teresa of Ávila, text; translated by Daniel Ladinsky


8  Alma Beata et Bella

Jacopo Sannazaro, text



The Crossing

Katy Avery

Jessica Beebe

Julie Bishop

Kelly Ann Bixby

Karen Blanchard

Steven Bradshaw

Maren Brehm

Jeffrey Cutts

Colin Dill

Micah Dingler

Robert Eisentrout

Ryan Fleming

Joanna Gates

Dimitri German

Steven Hyder

Michael Jones

Heather Kayan

Heidi Kurtz

Frank Mitchell

Rebecca Myers

Rebecca Oehlers

James Reese

Dan Schwartz

Rebecca Siler


Ted Babcock, percussion

Arlen Hlusko, cello

Mimi Stillman, flute


Cancion de el alma: Maren Montalbano, soloist

The Fenix: Kelly Ann Bixby, soloist; additional solos

by Jessica Beebe, Rebecca Myers, Karen Blanchard,

and Michael Jones


The Crossing Staff

Managing Director Steven Gearhart

Marketing and Artistic Associate Kevin Krasinski

Production Coordinator James Reese

Rehearsal Pianist John Grecia

Interns Gabrielle Barkidjija & Kevin Vondrak


Special thanks to the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill for providing our rehearsal space.  -The Crossing


My special thanks to Donald Nally and The Crossing for their exquisite musicianship, to Ted, Arlen and Mimi for their beautiful work on From The Wingbone of a Swan, to the PARMA team and all of the people who so generously contributed to this project, to Dale Warland, Paul Gerike, Regina Stroncek, and Christopher Johnston.


Clay Jug is dedicated to my parents, James Donald Hill and Alice Wells Hill who have encouraged and inspired me to create music all of my life. My love and gratitude are immeasurable. -Edie Hill




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