Antony and the Johnsons
Lincoln Center will channel its spiritual side next week with the launch of their White Light Festival, a fall celebration of “music’s transcendent capacity to illuminate our larger interior universe” (per their words). Running October 28 to November 18, the inaugural season focuses on the spiritual aspects of international music spanning Eastern and Western genres. Many events are free; the full schedule is here.
This lineup, spread throughout the picturesque Upper West Side plazas, is staggeringly full of great world music offerings. The “Credo” showcase brings together the Latvian National Choir, members of labyrinthine Icelandic rockers Sigur Rós, and Canadian poet Anne Carson. “A German Requiem” revisits the masses of Verdi, Mozart, and Faurè in a poignant statement of human response to grief. Renaissance composer Meredith Monk performs with rare full ensemble.
Perhaps most excitingly: gorgeous chamber pop group Antony and the Johnsons perform an exclusive collaboration with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Rob Moose. Antony Hegarty and his ilk are in good shape nowadays; their recently released fourth album, Swanlights, is a surprisingly buoyant step from their past spectral, amorphous soundscapes. Frontman Anthony Hegarty’s heavenward falsetto, a deep homage to Arthur Russell, is pensive but newly optimistic, and should be quite an experience live.