Stream John Clayton’s New Work, ‘Home’


WCLV will broadcast a live recording of “Home,” composed by John Clayton, on March 25 at 8 p.m. EST.

(Photo: Courtesy of Artist)

Cleveland radio station WCLV will stream a live recording of the new work “Home,” composed by esteemed jazz bassist and educator John Clayton, at 8 p.m. EST on March 25.

WCLV posted the following note on its website: “Despite canceling our March concert series due to the current health concerns of COVID-19, we were able to have our concert program, entitled The New World Revisited, professionally recorded.”

The program will include “Home” and a version of Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”

Clayton sent an email to journalists and other industry professionals, describing the origins of the piece: “I recently was asked to write a piece for a group, the CityMusic Cleveland Orchestra, that would be influenced by Dvorak’s 9th symphony [aka From The New World]. It was one of the most demanding pieces I’ve had to write.”

Clayton’s email also included a link to a YouTube video of a dress rehearsal of “Home.” The performances had been scheduled for March 11–14.

The broadcast of this performance is yet another example of how musicians are finding creative ways to share their music amid waves of cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the program notes for “Home,” Clayton wrote:

“This composition seeks to explore the artistic convergence of two people and their very different worlds, Antonín Dvorák and his intern/student, Harry Burleigh. The story line: A Czech composer from Prague teaches and befriends a young black student from Harlem. Indeed, it was this inner-city kid that introduced Dvorák to the negro songs that would forever add to his compositional style. Their meeting took place [circa] 1892 in New York City, when Mr. Dvorak accepted a teaching post at the National Conservatory of Music in America. …

Fast forward to the present.

What can happen when you combine late-19th century elements of Slavic music with American Black music? What will the results be when you invite a dynamite orchestra from Cleveland to explore this with jazz, hip-hop, gospel and spoken-word artists, also from the same city? Some of those answers are represented in my composition.”

For more info on Clayton and his projects, including the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, visit his website. DB

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