Family Secrets: Kith and Kin
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A song cycle within a monodrama based on the writings of prominent Southern voices.

Composer Daniel Thomas Davis says that Family Secrets: Kith and Kin emerged as a series of loosely related portraits, using poetry and prose by seven of the finest writers currently working in and around the Southern voices of American literature. This musical drama is a hybrid form -- an opera on top of chamber music, or a song cycle inside a monodrama -- perhaps best described as a chamber opera. Davis' music has been performed by the Detroit Symphony, Momenta Quartet, London Sinfonietta, Charlotte Symphony, and Anonymous 4, among many others. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Royal Academy of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and Johns Hopkins University and is on the faculty at SUNY Binghamton. Soprano Andrea Moore is a prizewinner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received the Yale School of Music Alumni Award. Her commitment to voices from her native North Carolina has led her to produce, premiere, and develop Family Secrets: Kith and Kin with the North Carolina Opera.
Daniel Thomas Davis, composer
Family Secrets: Kith and Kin
Andrea Edith Moore (soprano); Jane Holding (narrator); Elizabeth Phelps (violin); Nicholas Photinos (cello); Bo Newsome (oboe); Lisa Kaplan (piano); Hank Smith (banjo); Timothy Myers (conductor)

“Daniel Thomas Davis’s 2015 composition is grounded in North Carolina. Soprano Andrea Edith Moore conceived this project and with Davis gathered prose and poetry by Allan Gurganus, Daniel Wallace, Frances Mayes, Jeffery Beam, Lee Smith, Michael Malone, and Randall Kenan. All seven authors and Moore have known each other and are from the same part of NC. Davis also was born and raised in NC and calls Moore “the guiding spirit of this piece”. It’s a very distinct and imaginative composition. When I first listened to it I found it odd and peculiar. With each hearing its secrets and wonders opened more. The influence of one of Davis’s teachers, William Bolcom, is evident (cf. his Cabaret Songs). Davis writes simple and effective melodies, sometime as simple as two alternating tones a step or half-step apart then surging to explosive heights. Ms. Moore is a prizewinner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was given the Yale School of Music Alumni Award. She is committed to the performance of contemporary music and is an advocate for voices from her native North Carolina. Her singing is a delight. Her enunciation is lucid and her delivery of the text is nicely shaped…her commitment to this work is clear in her reading, and she sings it with wonderful affect and technical skill. `Porch’ shows her at her lyrical best.…Especially interesting is the unusual scoring: the dark pairing of English horn and cello or the varied use of the piano sometimes with jazzy riffs, often percussively, sometimes with volcanic explosiveness… This is a slice of southern culture that could easily pass under your radar, and that would be unfortunate.” (American Record Guide)