What is seen clearly in catastrophic situations can also be discerned in the course of reflection on our everyday transient lives. Our associate director, Jason Huffman, is also a classical composer. REAP is supporting several of his in-progress projects dealing with grief and resilience.

REAP supported the recording of Huffman’s settings for solo mezzo-soprano of three Langston Hughes poems, Sea Calm, Moonlight Night: Carmel, and Island. Taken as a set, these poems epitomize an invisible struggle against forces that can seem irresistible, but can be fought through transgenerational resilience, much like water wearing down stone. This recording was produced by PARMA Recordings on their Navona Records imprint and sung by American mezzo-spoprano Megan Ihnen who is widely celebrated for her dedication to the living music of our time and was released on July 8, 2022. More information can be found on the Navona Records page for the album, Currents in Time.

In the long term, he is working on large-scale, both in scope and instrumentation, composition based on three paintings of Hyman Bloom. These three paintings reflect the dread and beauty which accompanies life in the midst of death and death in the midst of life: Melting from 1974, The Cauldron and The Hull, both from 1952.

Melting, 1974

The Cauldron & The Hull, 1952

This piece will further develop Huffman’s compositional work first explored in his music based on Bloom’s Christmas Tree paintings exploring the extra-musical ties between music visual art and how we experience both through time and space. Bloom’s interest in both his Jewish heritage and Eastern religions gives a unique perspective on this ubiquitous Christian icon which both magnifies its origins in appropriated winter solstice rituals and deconstructs its identity into dazzling splashes of color and light.