If death has a sound, then I am now its echo
A New Digital Film Available November 11-18, 2021
Sign up for free access to the new digital film starting November 4, 2021.
Composer: Shawn Okpebholo
Poet: Marcus Amaker
World Premiere: October 5, 2021, presented by Wolf Trap’s Chamber Music at the Barns
Digital Premiere: November 11, 2021
“Soldiers never die until they are forgotten. Tomb Guards never forget.”
UNKNOWN is a dramatic song cycle honoring the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery, which occurs on November 11, 2021. UNKNOWN explores the ideas of war, honor, and memory through the eyes of soldiers, family members, and Tomb Guards who are connected to each other and the Tomb through their mutual service and sacrifice.
Commissioned by UrbanArias with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Opera Colorado, Minnesota Opera, Opera Birmingham, and Stephen E. and Dorothy P. Bird
A widely sought-after and award-winning composer, Shawn E. Okpebholo has been described by Augusta Read Thomas as “…a beautiful artist …who has enormous grace in his music, and fantasy and color.” Okpebholo comfortably composes in various styles and genres, intentional in creating music that is diverse, dynamic, and genuine. His artistry has resulted in many prizes and honors, including The American Academy of Arts and Letters Walter Hinrichsen Award in Music, First Place Winner of the 2020 American Prize in Composition (professional/wind band division) and Second Place Winner in the 2017 American Prize in Composition (professional/orchestral division), First Prize Winner in the Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition, Sound of Late Composition Contest, Accent06 International Composition Competition, and the Inaugural Awardee of the Leslie Adams-Robert Owens Composition Award.
Marcus Amaker was named Charleston, SC’s first Poet Laureate in 2016. He’s also the award-winning graphic designer of a national music journal (No Depression), an internationally known electronic musician, the creator of a poetry festival, and a mentor to hundreds of students. In 2019, he won a Governor’s Arts Award in South Carolina and was named the artist-in-residence of the Gaillard Center, a world-renowned performance and education venue. His poetry has been studied in classrooms around the world and has been interpreted for ballet, jazz, modern dance, opera, and theater. Marcus has recorded three albums with Grammy Award-winning drummer and producer Quentin E. Baxter. His eighth book is The Birth of All Things, from Free Verse Press.
Available On Demand