The Lannan Foundation
Millie and Christine McKoy Sisters' Syncopated Sonnets in Song
Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry and music meld to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity in this collaboration by poet Tyehimba Jess and composer Janice A. Lowe.
This chamber song cycle of duets is a musical setting of the contrapuntal, interstitial text of the Millie-Christine poems in Jess’ Pulitzer Prize–winning “Olio.” Millie and Christine McKoy were conjoined African-American twins born into slavery in North Carolina in 1818. Trained as children to sing, dance, play string instruments, and speak multiple languages, the sisters, billed as “the two-headed nightingale” and “the eighth wonder of the world,” were presented as a traveling curio and performance act. After emancipation, the sisters continued to perform and eventually became successful enough to purchase the plantation on which they had been enslaved.
Tyehimba Jess, poet
Janice A. Lowe, piano
Olithia Anglin, mezzo-soprano
Meredith Wright, soprano
Melanie Dyer, viola
Yohann Potico, bass guitar
Composed and conducted by Janice A. Lowe
Text by Tyehimba Jess
Music by Janice A. Lowe
Book signing follows performance.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, January 4th, 2020 at noon.
$8; students and seniors, $5