This set consists of a world premiere of three recomposed spirituals written by my father, Leslie Savoy Burrs, gifting me the opportunity to, quite literally, sing my soul. “Songs of Spiritual Being” was created as I decided to challenge my own notions of “what does/what can my blackness mean to me?” I get to live with the privilege of not having to endure racial prejudice from how I look, yet feel a deep, soul shaking connection to all of the cultural things that make half of my family beautifully black. The dichotomy of the intricacies of my ethnicity not being acknowledged by the world around me, yet feeling a special kinship with black culture, particularly black musical culture, has left me questioning how to make space for this pillar of mine. To begin this journey of question and answer, I decided to tackle a style of music I have always loved, and one that so easily reminds me of our mutual roots, the African American Spiritual. I have chosen three of my favorites songs that are largely related to African American culture, each one possessing a simple tune that has aided generations of colorful humans in their quest for support from a larger external force. Needless to say, my father took my personal journey and request and created, what I believe to be, some of his best work yet. You will hear how the composer allows his experience as a black person in this world to infiltrate each pained, exalted, and glorifying phrase sung for generations upon generations. Mr. Burrs enlists the beauty of the almost pastoral melodic lines, while enhancing the “groove” throughout each piece to allow for an all encompassing, spiritual experience. We could not be more thrilled to get to premiere these pieces for you.

Set one of Identify