I am so honored to present this conversation with composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. about The Grey Land, his monoopera which explores universal themes of humanity and identity through the intractable triumvirate of race, class, and power in American society. Our conversation began with the origins of the piece and broadened into a discussion about the white centeredness of the classical music world, and what that has cost both artists and audiences. I’m so excited for you all to hear this!

Joseph C. Phillips Jr. has received a Brooklyn Arts Council Arts Fund grant, NewMusic USA project grant, a American Composers Forum Jerome Foundation grant for New Music, a Meet the Composers Creative Connections grant, an American Music Center CAP grant, two Live Music for Dance commission grants, two Puffin Foundation grants, and was a finalist for both the Sundance Institute Film Composers Lab Fellowship and the Opera Company of Philadelphia Composer-in-Residence. Currently Phillips is working on various commissions and new projects including recording his mono-opera The Grey Land, a monoopera exploring universal themes of acceptance, ostracization, authenticity, and identity centered around intractable issues of race, class, and power in American society. The Grey Land was released on November 20, 2020 on New Amsterdam Records. He is also beginning work on 1619, an opera cycle inspired by the 2019 New York Times series The 1619 Project and the 2014 Ta-Nehisi Coates The Atlantic article “The Case for Reparations”. 

Music:
Ferguson (Summer 2014) – Joseph C. Phillips Jr.
I Should Have Been A Motherfucking Black Mamba – Joseph C. Phillips Jr.

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Get yourself a copy of The Grey Land here on Bandcamp, or streaming anywhere you stream great music.


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