The Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has released Reflections of Healing, a music video documenting public works of art created in response to recent social unrest and racial injustices. The music video showcases the dozens of public murals that sprang up throughout downtown Asheville last summer during and after protests in solidarity with the Black community following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.
“The idea came to me in June when I drove my young daughter downtown to show her the protesters in Pack Square in order to hit home for her the importance of speaking out and standing up for your community,” says ASO executive director David Whitehill. “The murals on the boarded-up buildings were incredibly eye-catching and made me think about the art that was being created during this moment in our country’s history.”
The video is set to the music of George Walker, the first Black composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and performed by the Asheville Symphony. The program was recorded at Echo Mountain Recording’s state-of-the-art studio.
“Darko Butorac, the ASO music director, and I talked about how we could do this and incorporate music,” says Whitehill. “We came upon the idea of using George Walker’s compositions as a soundtrack to accompany the visuals.”
The project was completed in partnership with the Asheville Art Museum (AAM). The museum worked with photographer David Huff to document the murals as they went up.
“We have partnered with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra often over the years and look forward to continuing to do so,” says AAM executive director Pamela Myer. “Invariably, when we have the opportunity to experience different art forms interacting, we hear, see and learn more, and are inspired.”
The collaboration was supported by the Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC), which served as a consultant. AAAC executive director Katie Cornell was the project manager for the Black Lives Matter street mural.
“AAAC was pleased to offer our support for this collaboration,’ says Cornell. “It is a very moving reminder of the work we need to do over the coming months and years to address inequities here in our community.”
Reflections of Healing can be viewed at YouTube.com.