Path of Miracles is an hour-long tour de force for 17 unaccompanied singers. Written in 2005 by the British composer Joby Talbot, Path of Miracles is a musical exploration of the Camino de Santiago — the ancient Catholic pilgrimage route across northern Spain to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the final resting place of the body of Santo Iago (St. James).
Throughout the piece, the choristers sing as soloists, in a texture that often requires 17 different parts. The music often reflects a medieval atmosphere, paired with a very contemporary, almost minimalistic, texture with its repeated motives underlying melodic phrases.
The text combines excerpts from historical and sacred documents in several different languages (reflecting the many languages of pilgrims over the centuries), along with original material by poet Robert Dickinson.
Path of Miracles is variously narrative, personal, mystical, and celebrative. Volti performed it in February 2018 at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, with ODC/Dance choreographed by KT Nelson, to sold-out houses and rave reviews, including this comment from Leah Garchik in the San Francisco Chronicle:
“The unamplified crystalline sound of the singers — pure, modern but somehow Bach–like, too — seemed to lift the dancers as the whole lifted the audience … and by the time the performance was over, we were so euphoric that we floated out of the place.”
Volti’s professional singers, under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Robert Geary, are dedicated to the discovery, creation, and performance of new vocal music. The ensemble’s mission — to foster and showcase contemporary American music and composers, and to introduce new vocal music from around the world to local audiences — has led to performances of a vast amount of new music and to the commissioning of more than 100 new works, by emerging as well as established composers.
Hailed by San Francisco Classical Voice as “undoubtedly the finest collection of new music singers we have” and voted “Best in the Bay” by SFCV readers in 2015, Volti is currently in its 40th season of exploration and innovation. Nationally recognized as a pioneer in new vocal music, Volti is the only group to have won the prestigious ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music seven times. In addition to commissioning, performing and recording on its own, Volti is an active collaborator with groups including the Kronos Quartet, ODC/Dance, and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and has been presented by Cal Performances, Bard Music West, and Festival Napa Valley, among others.
Attending a Volti concert is like visiting a contemporary art gallery, stimulating the mind, the imagination and the heart. www.VoltiSF.org
Robert Geary, Founder and Artistic Director of the professional new music vocal ensemble Volti, the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, and the Golden Gate International Choral Festival, also directs the San Francisco Choral Society. Geary’s multi-dimensional commitment to the choral arts over nearly forty years has fostered the careers of several leading composers and has led to nearly 200 new works. He has conducted and served as a clinician in dozens of countries, and his choirs have performed at numerous conferences and festivals across the country and around the world. Geary has prepared his choirs for some of the world’s leading conductors, and they can be heard on recordings with many labels. Bob and his wife, composer/conductor/pianist Sue Bohlin, have a home in Anchor Bay.
Tickets are $25 advance, $5 more day of performance;
youth 7-17 admitted free with adult.
For advance purchase, visit BrownPaperTickets.com or call them at 1-800-838-3006.
To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala.