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ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH-KAMA-River of Stars:multi-movement work by Pamela Madsen for orchestra, choir, ensembles, electronics, video


ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH-KAMA-River of Stars is a multi-movement work by composer Pamela Madsen for orchestra, choir, ensembles, electronics and video created in collaboration with world-renowned musicians Nicholas Isherwood, TwoSense: Ashley Bathgate and Lisa Moore, Brightwork New Music, pianists Amy Williams, Sarah Cahill, violinist Kate Stenberg, CSUF Symphony Orchestra and Singers with ModernMedieval vocal trio, Roomful of Teeth and librettist/video artist Quintan Ana Wikswo.

With initial funding for Part I of this concert length  Oratorio for the Earth:  There Will Come Soft Rains from National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, this new project KAMA-River of Stars has  funded residencies for composer Pamela Madsen during 2019 at the International Women’s Studies Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, MacDowell Colony, Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen, and Ucross, Wyoming to complete the project.

Oratorio for the Earth=KAMA-River of Stars  reflects upon the need for Deep Listening in the wilderness, social justice and the global ecology of self-consciousness; resonance of the human body with the earth, and the rivers and stars that connect us. This work is unique in that it focuses on the sound and setting of spoken text, field recordings from the environment, combined with instruments, electronics, video and sung text. The work captures the sonic landscape of the wilderness of the desert southwest, inspired by the vast connecting river ways of the world, informed by research on the utopian visions of Hans Christian Andersen’s concept of science as Poetry’s California,  weaving a narrative of concern for human rights, social justice, women, nature and threat of imminent world destruction. Themes are manifested through texts concerning marginalization of indigenous cultures and desecration of women and nature correlated with concerns for the destruction of the environment. Pamela Madsen will complete chamber versions of the works for premiere in 2019,  and full orchestra/ choral versions of the work for premiere May 9, 2020.

ORATORIO FOR THE EARTH: KAMA-River of Stars (c. 50 minutes)

  1. I. Country of Lost Borders (texts by Mary Hunter Austin) for Brightwork New Music:  violin, flute, clarinet, cello, piano, percussion to be premiered February,  2020. Orchestral/Choral version to be premiered May 9, 2020.   10′
  2. II. The Consecrating Mother  (texts by Mary Oliver,  Anne Sexton) for Two Sense: Ashley Bathgate, cello, Lisa Moore, piano.  To be premiered February 21, 2019. Orchestra/Choral version with guest artists to be premiered May 9, 2020.  11′
  3. III. Lost Horse Mine Lament (texts by Rilke, FDR National Parks Proclamation) Orchestal/Choral with guest artists to be premiered  May 9, 2020  10′
  4. IV. Tenebrae-Now the Hour Bows Down (texts by Rilke) for Nicholas Isherwood, bass baritone and electronics, video by Quintan Ana Wikswo, to be premiered Feb. 19th, 2019. Orchestra/choral version with guest artists to be premiered,  May 9, 2020.11′
  5. V. Earth Horizon (text by Sarah Teasdale)  for 4 pianists: Amy Williams, Sarah Cahill, MaD DuO:Pamela Madsen, Eric Dries, and Kate Stenberg, violin to be premiered February  23, 2019. Orchestra/Choral version with guest artist to be premiered May 9, 2020. 8′

Project Media

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Why Women Weep:IT IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO REJOIN THE OCEAN by Pamela Madsen, composer
cello & electronics – Ashley Bathgate
recorded live at Meng Hall, CSUF, 2/22/17

With voice of Ashley Bathgate, and recorded text by Anais Nin, permission granted Anais Nin estate. From Multi-media Oratorio for the Earth: There Will Come Soft Rains newmusicusa.org/projects/there-will-come-soft-rains-2/

Luminosity: The Passions of Marie Curie-Pierre’s Dissertation on Crystals
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Luminosity: The Passions of Marie Curie, by Pamela Madsen, composer/electronics
performance by Nicholas Isherwood, bass-baritone and electronics for The Electric Voice World tour 2016
from Multi-Media Opera, premiered by Tony Arnold and Musicians from soundSCAPE-Pierre’s Dissertation on Crystals
Video by Quintan Ana Wikswo, from Marie Curie Archives in Paris, France.
Live performance premiere Meng Concert Hal, April 14, 2016
California State University, Fullerton

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Text, Poetry, Libretto, Photography, 35mm films & concept by QUINTAN ANA WIKSWO
filmed on location at WUPATKI, ARIZONA
text first published in HIGH DESERT JOURNAL (c) 2012
from There Will Come Soft Rains project
Live performance by Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Eclipse String Quartet, Vicki Ray, pianist. Members of LAPQ and Eclipse Quartet are members of the new commissioning ensemble Brightwork New Music, Los Angeles.

Start and End Dates



Laguna Beach, California

Project Created By

Laguna Beach, California
Pamela Madsen is a composer, sound artist, performer, and curator of new music. From her intimate chamber music creations focusing on image-music-text to her  electroacoustic mutli-media collaborations, collected archives of works by women in electroacoustic and organization of new music events she has created a body of work with a profound breadth of vision.  Her…

In Collaboration With

performer, cellist/spoken voice
New York City, New York
performer, bass-baritone, electronics
librettist, video artist, spoken voice
performer, pianist/spoken voice
New York, New York
performer, mezzo-soprano, Music Director ModernMedieval


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