Stronghold (2008) 17'

eight double basses or solo bass + playback

The Hartt School

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Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthracite Fields released on CD

Julia Wolfe’s Pulitzer-Prize winning oratorio for chorus and instruments, Anthracite Fields, will be released on Cantaloupe Music on September 25, 2015. Wolfe wrote the piece after doing extensive research about the coal-mining industry in an area very near where she grew up in Pennsylvania. Her text draws on oral histories, interviews with miners and their families, speeches, geographic descriptions, children’s rhymes, and coal advertisements…

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Anthracite Fields feature:

As Trump Tries to Revive Coal, an Oratorio Confronts Mining’s Past


LEWISBURG, Pa. — Onstage, a choir intoned the names of coal miners whose deaths and injuries had landed them on the Pennsylvania Mining Accident index more than a century ago. In the lobby, members of the audience — some of whom came on free shuttle buses that picked them up from nearby coal towns — created an index of their own, writing about their mining ancestors in a small leather notebook held open with a coal paperweight…

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Steel Hammer film premiere at Cal Performances at Home (streaming)

Cal Performances at Home premieres Steel Hammer, a new film featuring the acclaimed oratorio by Julia Wolfe. Film will be available on demand through August 4.

Described by The Boston Globe as “[an] epic explosion and reconstruction of the folk ballad,” Julia Wolfe’s Steel Hammer is a meditation on over 200 versions of the John Henry legend, with voices and the Bang on a Can All-Stars, along with mountain dulcimer, wooden bones, banjo, harmonicas, clogging, and body percussion…

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