If you’ve been keeping up with the recent news on our blog, PARMA Recordings and The Crossing may sound quite familiar. Praised as “America’s most astonishing choir” by the New York Times, The Crossing made their recording debut with PARMA in 2009, a release that would lead to multiple commercial albums, ample attention from the press, and even a Grammy award. Today we celebrate TITRATION, The Crossing’s 30th album, and the latest release from Navona Records.
Premiered at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana in August 2022, TITRATION is another creative collaboration between The Crossing and Shara Nova, founder of the chamber pop band My Brightest Diamond and one of the featured composers on the choir’s most recent album, Carols After a Plague.
Prior to release, works from the album have been performed in a number of settings and situations, including the national conference of The American Choral Directors Association in Cincinnati and on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.
“As a child,” Shara Nova said, “I often understood the best way to deal with big feelings was to go silently into my bedroom and remain there until I could come out with a ‘better attitude.’ The story of my learning how to identify feelings and stay connected to my body is ongoing. The details of what has happened to me personally to make emotion and body awareness difficult were not necessary to tell. Instead I wanted to share some explorations in asking the question, ‘How do I keep on feeling in this mean, mean world?’”
This release of The Crossing’s 30th album comes as the ensemble celebrates its third Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance, and a tour (with movements of Titration) that included performances at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago, Ithaca, and Dartmouth Colleges.
TITRATION examines the experience of our own bodies, the capacity of our nervous systems, and the quest to identify and embrace our most difficult feelings. Styles converge, warm sounds emerge and voices soar next to laughter, humming, and the energy of Shara’s Indie band roots, with songs deeply inspired by Resmaa Menakem’s Somatic Abolitionist body of work and his call for communal practice. TITRATION offers a glimpse into various healing modalities while extending a hand of self-awareness to listeners alike.
As we look ahead to our next endeavors with the celebrated ensemble, here are a few notable projects from PARMA and The Crossing.
Released in 2009 on Navona Records, VESPERS was The Crossing’s first album release, the project that kicked off their artistic journey and would lead them to international recognition and acclaim. A collaboration between The Crossing, Piffaro, and composer Kile Smith, VESPERS presents contemporary work for Renaissance instruments and chorus, an album praised by Fanfare Magazine as “a magnificent achievement.”
THE ARC IN THE SKY
The Crossing continued collaborations with Smith in 2019 with the release of THE ARC IN THE SKY on Navona Records. Nominated for “Best Choral Performance” in the 2020 Grammy awards, THE ARC IN THE SKY is a formidable example for the heights which artistic expression can reach when its individual elements – that is, creative spirits from multiple spheres – work together in harmony. It is a pleasure to behold, and an even greater pleasure to listen to.
Lauded by BBC Music Magazine for its pep and precision, CARTHAGE also received a Grammy nomination for “Best Choral Performance.” Donald Nally leads the choir through six striking pieces by composer James Primosch that confront the most elemental questions of Western philosophy in this release.
CARTHAGE is a cohesive artwork that considers the most fundamental questions of human existence with the reverent wonder of monastic mysticism. While the music does not attempt to answer these unanswerable questions, it offers a sense of fellowship with the thinkers who pondered them long before.
Winner of “Best Choral Performance” in the 2023 Grammy awards, BORN: THE MUSIC OF EDIE HILL AND MICHAEL GILBERTSON showcases ethereal, energetic, raw, and impactful compositions, the nuance of Nally’s conducting, and The Crossing’s superb expressiveness.
“We want to make pieces about the world we live in, and we want people to hear them, to listen, and maybe recognize themselves in our stories. This Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance brings all that together.”
Conductor Donald Nally