"We Got Time": Performed by Philadelphia's The Crossing (Composed by Matana Roberts)

June 20th 2021

Content Warning: Breonna Taylor, Police brutality, Murder, Anti-black racism

Composer, sound artist, and jazz saxophonist Matana Roberts has created a collage of sound that reflects on the world we live in, positioning the loss of Breonna Taylor at the center of that world, as we ask questions about the meaning of words familiar to us through historic documents – the United States’ Declaration of Independence, the Preamble and First Amendment to the US Constitution – the 19th-century hymn Pass Over to The Rest, event data related to Ms. Taylor’s death, and a roll call of the names of Black women lost in ways similarly. Matana writes of this sound quilt as a communal practice: "a scrap alone is of no use, but a scrap bounded together by others of its diverse kind will move beyond anything that it ever thought it could be."

The Crossing is a Philadelphia based, Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over 110 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Beth Morrison Projects, Allora & Calzadilla, Bang on a Can, Klockriketeatern, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).