work details

FETTER & AIR

an immersive sound installation experience of word and voice

  • Instrumentation: virtual chorus soundscape, piano, various instruments, speech
  • Completed: May 2021
  • Duration: 25 minutes, looping
  • Texts: Original text comiled by the composer from submitted statements by members of the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia.
  • Gallery:
    • The Rail Park, Philadelphia
      May 2021

    • The Rail Park, Philadelphia
      May 2021

    • Mendelssohn Chorus Board Members Ellie Elkinton, Monte Partee, Linda Lipscomb, and Russ Harris attend the sound installation at the Rail Park
      May 2021

    • With Flo Gardner & Charlotte Sibley at the premiere
      May 2021

  • About:

    FETTER & AIR is an immersive recorded sound installation, a catharsis for 2020, and a chance to feel the power of a live symphonic choral concert virtually, safely, and in the beauty of the outdoors in the heart of the city.   Expressing both grief and hope, this uplifting, ethereal, looping 25-minute virtual chorus performance features the original words of singers from the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia (MCP), spoken and sung in their own voices, and set to the music of composer Dominick DiOrio, MCP’s artistic director and conductor. The 562 audio files were then mixed, edited, mastered and designed for the sound installation by consultant, producer, musician, and engineer Justin “JG” Geller.

    Please note that the words in this sound installation contain personal reflections from individuals about their hopes, worries, dreams, fears, anxieties, and joys and that some of these reflections may be potentially triggering for some individuals. 

  • Premiere:

    The premiere installation took place on Saturday, May 15 and Sunday May 16, 2021 at The Rail Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Acknowledgments:

    FETTER & AIR was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia. Music and Text Copyright © 2021 by Dominick DiOrio. All rights reserved. 

    The commissioning and premiere performance installation of FETTER & AIR was made possible with the support of The Presser Foundation, with additional support provided by Frank Cassel, Ellie and Tom Elkinton, Elizabeth Hohwieler, Carolyn and Bernie Linarello, Mark Pinzur, Maria Sisto and Michael Schaedle, Jane Uptegrove, and Aiko and Greg Whiting.

    Special thanks to Rich Tolsma, James Copes, and Tolsma Productions for their work in creating the documentary video of this sound installation.

    Additional special thanks to Meg Morris for coming up with the title of our project.

  • Featured Performers:

    Abigail Chapman, soprano
    Lucas DeJesus, bass-baritone
    Sierra Fox, mezzo-soprano
    Donald Hunt, baritone
    Jina Jang, soprano
    Kelsey Lewis, mezzo-soprano
    John Meyer, baritone
    Langelihle Mngxati, bass
    Alize Rozsnyai, soprano
    Michael Robert Smith, tenor
    Karina Sweeney, mezzo-soprano
    D’quan Tyson, tenor

    Ting Ting Wong, piano

    Brendan Fullam, synthesizer

    Kyle Conner, flute

    Amanda Pfannenstiel, bassoon

    Albert Crawford, trombone

    Mark Davidson, trombone

    Sandy Rea, “Dona Nobis Pacem” solo

  • Chorus Credits:

    The following 61 individuals submitted recordings of their original spoken words, reflections on their anxieties and hopes:

    Brenda Bary
    Paul Burgmayer
    Jamie Caporizo
    Christopher Carriero
    Frank Cassel
    Chris Chaapel
    Abigail Chapman
    Kyle Conner
    Kate Courter
    Amanda Davis
    Hannah Davis
    Lindsay Dever
    Michael Dolan
    Erin Donovan
    Robin Eaton
    Ellie Elkinton
    Sierra Fox
    Teri Gemberling-Johnson
    Donald Gilchrist
    Steven Glasser
    Katherine Haas
    Jennifer Hay
    Elizabeth Hohwieler
    Donald Hunt
    Jina Jang
    Nancy Jantsch
    William Jantsch
    Lynn Kirby
    Jon Kochavi
    John Kohlhas
    Jillian Kunze
    William Kunze
    Kelsey Lewis
    Liz Maninfior
    Sean Martin
    Alexandra McFadden
    Ilene Miller
    Michael Moore
    Amanda Pfannenstiel
    Kate Philips-Kaiser
    Mark Pinzur
    Sandy Rea
    Rebecca Rendsburg
    Rebecca Roberts
    Daniel Rosen
    Kyle Sheehan
    Jennifer Sheffield
    Dan Simpson
    Erik Stenswold
    Javvieaus Stewart
    Karina Sweeney
    Marie Tavianini
    Laura Temoyan
    Rich Tolsma
    Steven Ullman
    Jane Uptegrove
    Jonathan Wallace
    Aiko Whiting
    Ting Ting Wong
    Zach Zaitlin
    Luke Zhu

    The following 67 singers submitted recordings of their singing using their own interpretations and improvisations of the composer’s sheet music:

    Sopranos
    Rachel Castro-Diephouse
    Abigail Chapman
    Amanda Davis
    Roberta Fischer
    Teri Gemberling-Johnson
    Elizabeth Hohwieler
    Jina Jang
    Lynn Kirby
    Jillian Kunze
    Ilene Miller
    Amanda Pfannenstiel
    Kate Phillips-Kaiser
    Roberta Rote
    Alize Rozsnyai
    Marie Tavianini
    Rebecca Thornburgh
    Kathryn Wadsworth

    Altos
    Rachele Armstrong
    Brenda Bary
    Christine Chaapel
    Kate Courter
    Hannah Davis
    Lindsay Dever
    Erin Donovan
    Robin Eaton
    Sierra Fox
    Anne Gold
    Katherine Haas
    Samantha Kamen
    Kelsey Lewis
    Alexandra McFadden
    Rebecca Rendsburg
    Gabrielle Rinkus
    Rebecca Roberts
    Jennifer Sheffield
    Javvieaus Stewart
    Karina Sweeney
    Jane Uptegrove
    Aiko Whiting

    Tenors
    Frank Cassel
    Kyle Conner
    William Kunze
    Jim Light
    Sean Martin
    John Meyer
    Kyle Sheehan
    Michael Robert Smith
    D’quan Tyson
    Steve Ullman
    Zach Zaitlin
    Luke Zhu

    Basses
    Evan Birnholz
    Lucas DeJesus
    Michael Dolan
    Brendan Fullam
    Donald Gilchrist
    Steven Glasser
    Donald Hunt
    Jon Kochavi
    Martin Levitas
    Langelihle Mngxati
    Michael Moore
    Sandy Rea
    Daniel Rosen
    Erik Stenswold
    Thomas Sutton
    Jonathan Wallace