'How do I find you' is a collection of words and music created in 2020, portraying the gamut of human experiences during the ongoing pandemic.
Acclaimed American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke commissioned gifted composers in their 40s and younger, offering them carte blanche to create what most spoke to them during this time. The result is an album that pulses with immediacy and authenticity.
Some of these pieces are earnest, wrestling with societal challenges from racial injustice and school shootings to California wildfires. Others are abstract or wryly humorous, told through the lens of harried parents working from home, or tackling that most urgent (tongue-firmly-in-cheek) quarantine quandary: whether to order a Peloton bike.
This approach is an experiment in liberation, inspired by a time in which so many of us have looked into the mirror, or at our loved ones on a computer screen, and wondered: Is this real life? Who are you now? How do I find you?
“When cancellation after cancellation was coming in, I felt an utter loss of identity. This project provided me with a sense of purpose and hope – a way to orient myself through the haze of so much change and uncertainty. From the moment I called the first composer, it felt as if a light suddenly shone and a piece of myself was returned to me. Each time that a song came in, it felt like my birthday: unwrapping a package that revealed a new and surprising sound world.” -Sasha Cooke
Released on Pentatone • Available for Pre-Order Now
All 17 songs commissioned for this project will receive their world premiere performances in a one-night-only appearance by Sasha Cooke and pianist Kirill Kuzmin. The duo will perform in Davies Symphony Hall as part of San Francisco Symphony’s 2021/22 season.
San Francisco Symphony January 30, 2022 7:30pm
Sasha and Kirill will re-team to present the East Coast premieres of these new works in Baltimore on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus.
Shriver Hall Concert Series March 6, 2022 5:30pm
SONGS/COMPOSERS & LIBRETTISTS
how do I find you / Caroline Shaw Listen / Kamala Sankaram • Mark Campbell Risk Not One / Matt Boehler • Todd Boss Self-Portrait with Dishevelled Hair / Missy Mazzoli • Royce Vavrek Spider / John Glover • Kelley Rourke Dear Colleagues / Rene Orth • Colleen Murphy Everything Will Be Okay / Christopher Cerrone • John K. Samson The Hazelnut Tree / Gabriel Kahane (A Bad Case of) Kids / Andrew Marshall • Todd Boss The Work of Angels / Huang Ruo • David Henry Hwang Altitude / Timo Andres • Lola Ridge Inward Things / Nico Muhly • Thomas Traherne That Night / Hilary Purrington • Mark Campbell After the Fires / Lembit Beecher • Liza Balkan #MasksUsedToBeFun / Frances Pollock • Emily Roller Still Waiting / Joel Thompson • Gene Scheer Where Once We Sang / Jimmy López Bellido • Mark Campbell
MORE ABOUT SASHA COOKE
Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke is a “luminous standout” (The New York Times) whose “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” have been praised by Opera News. She has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others. Ms. Cooke has performed with over 70 orchestras around the world and has appeared in recital at leading venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Wigmore Hall, and the 92nd Street Y. She lives near Houston with her daughters Evelyn and Julia and her husband, baritone Kelly Markgraf.
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