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America: A Hymnal

Saturday, February 13 at 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM


The installation My destiny is in your hands creates a chapel-like setting that envelops America: A Hymnal (2017), an artist book made up of 100 versions of “My Country ’Tis of Thee” (also known as “America”) written from the 18th-20th centuries. During a four-hour-long performance, members of the Montgomery Chorale will sing each of the 100 hymns. The arrangement of the piece by Collins and James Seay, director of the Montgomery Chorale, incorporates styles of aleatoric music, polyphony, and polytonalism. It is through the resulting dissonance that the singers create familiar noise—100 dissenting versions with the same melody—an apt metaphor in the wake of an election year.

Above: Bethany Collins (American, born 1984), America: A Hymnal, 2017, book with 100 laser cut leaves, AP 1, Special Edition of 25, Courtesy of the artist and PATRON Gallery, Chicago Photos by Tim Johnson

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