Alaska Premiere of “Sagaland” and New Community Piece
The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is performing two new symphonic photochoreography works for their 2015-16 season finale. For the first piece, Sagaland, ASO Music Director Randall Craig Fleisher has selected Hovhaness’s evocative Mysterious Mountain from the four available music options. Nicholas photographed Sagaland in Iceland during the summer of 2013. The concert piece is a portrayal of the island’s staggeringly beautiful Nordic landscapes—one of the most visually striking pieces in our repertoire.
The ASO’s second symphonic photochoreography piece is a new commission. Nicholas will be assembling a community piece titled “North of Ordinary” using community-submitted photographs that depict what makes life in Alaska special. Continuing the momentum from the 2015 Anchorage city centennial, the ASO has forged a partnership with the Anchorage Museum for gathering photo submissions. After the December photo deadline, Nicholas will begin selecting several hundred final images from the project’s pool of over 3,000 submissions and choreographing them to the beautiful first movement of Copland’s The Tender Land Suite.
The ASO’s request for photo submissions encapsulates the essence of the project: “North of Ordinary—what makes Alaska so? Is it spectacular panoramas? Abundant wildlife? Auroras? Darkness? Midnight sun? A land both beautiful and harsh? Soothing and dangerous? Is it our people? Are we independent? Rebels? Pioneers? Quirky? Friendly? Reclusive? Urban? Rural? Fun? Boring? Adventurous? Determined? Survivors? Adaptive? What compels us to be here?”
The April 2016 concert will be our second engagement with the ASO. Back in 1989 they opened their new concert hall with a photochoreography performance by our company’s now-retired founder, James Westwater.