“The first sounds you hear in Hannibal Lokumbe’s Healing Tones are quiet strings and a shofar,” writes Peter Dobrin in last Friday’s (3/29) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Healing Tones, premiered Thursday night by the Philadelphia Orchestra in Verizon Hall, is a large-scale response to the work the Texas composer has done in Philadelphia in the last three years, visiting schools, prisons, and shelters, and gathering human evidence of healing…. Hannibal has a gift for synthesizing pain into a convincing call to optimism. He was already writing Healing Tones when October’s massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh occurred, and [brought] in Audrey Glickman, the shofar blower who had been leading a service at Tree of Life that October morning, for these performances.… Hannibal is strong on atmosphere: strains of orchestral sunlight, smoky jazz, African drumming, and forest murmurs from the woodwinds happily commingle in the piece. Hannibal … conjures inventive sounds and textures from the chorus … It was the more emotional messaging of Hannibal’s score I loved most—the pulsing optimism, the peace and reconciliation, the urging toward hope.” Lokumbe’s residency with the Philadelphia Orchestra is part of Music Alive, a national three-year composer-orchestra residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.

Posted April 5, 2019

In photo: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s “Healing Tones,” with (left to right) mezzo-soprano Funmike Lagoke, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Lokumbe, and choral director J. Donald Dumpson. Photo by Jessica Griffin