Friday, August 10, 2018, 7 PM


$10 general admission; free for Virginia Tech students (ticket still required). Tickets available beginning Monday, July 23

Anna and Elizabeth, in collaboration with Irish composer Linda Buckley, present a new series of explorations inspired by the legacy and music of Texas Gladden crafted especially for the immersive Cube space. Gladden was recorded singing ballads in her living room in Salem by folklorist Alan Lomax and folksinger Shirley Collins in 1941; these recordings went on to have a lasting impact, making the singer renowned amongst folk musicians worldwide. The mother of nine, an occasional poet, and a gifted homemaker, Gladden’s log home is still inhabited by her family—her memory and spirit still vibrates there, if you are lucky enough to visit and sit on the porch with her granddaughter.

Anna and Elizabeth have been re-imagining and illustrating ballads—Gladden’s among them—for the last seven years, to great acclaim. The New Yorker calls their most recent record “A radical expansion of what folk songs are supposed to do.” They’ve enlisted Irish electro/acoustic composer Buckley to join them in their exploration for Cube Fest; Buckley is an esteemed Irish composer whose work is “engaging with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy,” according to Bob Gilmore in Journal of Music.

The three create an immersive and multi-media language to supplement the songs and stories told by Anna and Elizabeth: reworking recent field recordings and videos of the Gladden home and surrounding woods and interviews with the descendants of the singer; texts built from stories Gladden and her family told, Gladden’s own poetry, and immersive sound collages built from the sounds of her singing; and a deep dive into an ancient ballad she sung through dance, film, and sound. It’s a piece exploring the possibilities of memory in a place, the legacy of a song (and the singer) in a space, and the possibilities of finding magic in the domestic home—and in the nature surrounding.

The performance will feature a guest appearance by Vicki Miller, Gladden’s granddaughter.

See the full Cube Fest schedule here.

Advance Program Notes

View advance program notes for this performance here.