Visions of America
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Live Music: The New West Symphony at Barnum Hall
by Don Heckman
Visions of America (VOA) is a groundbreaking multimedia celebration of America. Combining the words and philosophies of America’s founders with sublime imagery and original symphonic music, VOA presents a compelling visual-musical portrait of Democracy.
The concert is premised upon the question: “How do you photograph an idea (deomcracy)?” The answer unfolds during our concert’s journey through America, where audiences explore the ideas, hopes and dreams that bind us together. In encountering the landscapes, cityscapes, small towns and rituals that define us as a people, our audience realizes that it is this generation of Americans that is the recipient and caretaker of the founders’ Vision of America.
The project is the dream of American history teacher turned photographer-writer-producer, Joseph Sohm. Over 30 years, Sohm has traveled more than one million miles to capture the spirit of America on film. What began as Sohm’s Vision of America, is now a plural pursuit. VOA features the talents of composer-performer-arranger Roger Kellaway, lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, singer Patti Austin, with narration by Clint Eastwood.
Sohm launched an earlier version of VOA in Philadelphia with Peter Nero & the Philly Pops in January 2009. In May of 2010, the Boston Pops featured “We The People”, the theme song from VOA for their “Presidents at the Pops” gala. This year, they have entitled their spring season “Visions f America” and will present the full show for eight performances.
Drawing upon VOA’s vast digital image collection taken from all fifty states over twenty-five years, iconic American images are displayed on a large projection screen that is suspended over the 66-piece symphony orchestra. Using the latest post-production, special effects and motion-graphics, the images are digitally choreographed to Mr. Kellaway’s original score.
For more information go to visionsofamerica.com–