Looking Back at A Time For Life

As we look forward to our May 2014 performance of Robert Kyr’s A Time For Life with the Third Angle New Music Ensemble, have a look back at an Oregonian review of our world premiere concert:

“During an hour of music, the eight excellent voices of Cappella Romana (sopranos DenBeste and Stephanie Kramer, altos Jo Routh and Tuesday Rupp, tenors John Michael Boyer and Leslie W. Green, baritone Mark Powell and bass David Stutz) lapped the walls with words from Sioux and Eskimo prayers, biblical psalms and Greek Orthodox texts. Three Renaissance stringed instruments (played by the superb Margriet Tindemans, Shira Kammen and David Morris) summoned the ancients while grounding the singers’ voices in rolling chords. A useful musical reference here may be the mystical music of Arvo Part and Henryk Gorecki.

Slants of melody set the mind adrift. If a million solar systems are born every hour, how many may have burst into being during the five-lined Navajo chant “Restore my feet for me?” as voices overlapped in canon?

A moment of beauty arrived with an Ojibwa prayer: “In all creation, only the human family has strayed from the Sacred Way.” We had just heard Green and Powell howl at the shepherds who neglected their flocks –a rousing duet, expertly sung –when the mood shifted to supplication, as all eight voices pleaded for compassion “so we may heal the Earth.” The music broadened like a river delta with DenBeste’s bell-like voice again soaring on high.

By the end of the piece, with an inventory of crimes stacked against us, Kyr let us off gently. Flooding the church in a confluence of voices and instruments, the music swelled in homophonic splendor as the singers turned to the audience, singing, “Beauty before me, beauty behind me.”

It’s not a mystery, Kyr was saying as the singers walked slowly back up the aisles. The music tells us how to behave.” —David Stabler The Oregonian

Revisit the full review on www.oregonlive.com!

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8pm, Fri., May 2, St. Mary’s Cathedral


8pm, Sat., May 3, St. Joseph’s Parish, Capitol Hill

*Free pre-concert talks one hour prior to each performance