There are approximately thirteen miles between the Bankhead Courts housing project development, (a fenced-in, self-sustaining dwelling that includes its own elementary school, public library and convenience store) and the High Museum of Art (a multi-million-dollar complex located in the center of Atlanta's extremely affluent arts district). Three miles from Bankhead Courts, and eleven miles from the High Museum of Art, is the Historic Collier Heights Community where I spent a privileged childhood that included many trips to the High.
Despite the short distance between my neighborhood and Bankhead Courts, I never considered life so out of kilter in such close proximity between the two communities until the year 2000. That year I received a CLiCC grant from the Atlanta Chapter of the American Composers Forum to implement my program, Project MAP (music, art, poetry), into Bankhead Courts Elementary. I soon realized that lack of opportunity, coupled with a constant bombardment of real-life negative images was the main catalyst for many of the problems facing the Bankhead Courts community. Chase Campbell’s images from his children's book, Riding the Sphinx and Other Adventures at the Museum, was the inspiration for OUT OF KILTER: sounding scenes from Black America. Each image is paired with a major section of music, delineated by subtitles, which I created. These subtitles allude to each picture, as I see them, and also to the mood of the music.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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