A work composed by Gabriela Lena Frank for Lafayette choirs will premiere April 13 at Williams Center for the Arts. Songs of Cifar and the Sweet Sea includes parts for two vocal soloists, two pianos, and a string quartet.
Frank, a Grammy-nominated and Latin Grammy-winning composer and pianist, is serving a yearlong residency. Her work is inspired by the poetry of Nicaraguan poet Pablo Antonio Cuadra as he describes life at sea through Nicaraguan folklore, in a fashion similar to Homer’s Odyssey.
Frank’s residency includes an interdisciplinary arts symposium, master classes, and discussions of artistic creation with students. The activities are supported by a grant the College received in 2011 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further infuse the performing and visual arts throughout the curriculum.
Shannon Moran ’14 is analyzing the 35-minute composition for her honors thesis and will participate as a member of the choir. “Students at other schools might have big speakers on their campus, but they don’t get to meet and talk with them.”
Moran first encountered Frank’s work while doing EXCEL Scholars research with Jennifer Kelly, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, who is her thesis adviser.