“I composed In Darkness Veiled during the early months of the Covid pandemic lockdown. My new variation is a pianistic nocturne in three panels with a tempestuous middle. The work is lush in its textures with hints of the tune’s motives – which cover all registers – and evaporates upward at the close.” – Judith Lang Zaimont
On July 5, Judith Lang Zaimont’s In Darkness Veiled receives its virtual world premiere by pianist Min Kwon as part of Kwon’s America/Beautiful commissioning project. The four-minute work for solo piano was chosen by Kwon to be included as one of 70+ commissioned-works by living American composers. Each composer was asked to write an original variation on the theme of the patriotic song “America the Beautiful.” Each interpretation offers a different vision of America filtered through the lenses of a broad spectrum of age, race, gender, and personal experience. The America/Beautiful project series premieres via YouTube from July 4- 7, 2021, and includes post-concert chats with the composers. Kwon continues the series of America/Beautiful in live performances on July 8 and 9, at the Catacombs in New York City’s national historical landmark Green-Wood Park in Brooklyn, NY.
“This project has been a long time in the making” notes the Korean-born Kwon, who created this project to paint a sonic picture of her adopted country in all of its sprawling complexity and to ultimately try to find the beauty at the core of the American experiment’s credo of “e pluribus unum.” She continues. “Its guiding spirit took on a more special meaning as I worked on it over the past nine months during this unprecedented moment we are living through together…In spite of many challenges, however, I am grateful for the time that the pandemic has afforded me – to dedicate myself to exploring the sound worlds of so many wonderful American composers, and the profound diversity of backgrounds and styles they represent. Ultimately this project is about embracing our diversity, and remembering that by understanding, appreciating, and celebrating our differences, we become stronger both as individuals and as a country. The fact that 70+ composers can hear the same song in a completely different way is, to me, something truly beautiful…[It’s] a powerful chorus, a collective musical snapshot that I’m sure will reverberate far beyond the present moment…I hope it helps to remind us, in spite of all the difficulties we face, that there is still so much beauty in this country of ours.”