Nashville, TN

Mark Volker's "Body and Soul, After The Plague" To Premiere Virtually

Lenny Schumacher
Kael Bloom/Unsplash

NASHVILLE, TN – Mark Volker’s Body and Soul, After the Plague will premiere virtually on July 29, 2021, at 7 p.m. Central. Chatterbird, the internationally-renowned, Nashville-based ensemble will work together with Volker to play the music.

The piece, supported by a National Endowment for the Arts grant, will promote the importance of empathy and variety humanity, employing the medieval idea of "sin" (self-division) as a transgression against both oneself and human society as a whole. It will make its global premiere in Nashville's Parthenon, and will be produced in collaboration with medieval scholar Dr. Suzanne Edwards and visual artist Dr. Christine Rogers.

The piece is based on the poem "The Body and Soul Debate" where two voices will be blended with music and video. This is a late fourteenth-century poem in which the body and soul of a recently departed individual argue over who is to blame for leading them wrong in life. Finally, the discussion serves merely to teach them about one another, as they share the same fate and responsibility in it.

Mark Volker is an Associate Professor of Music at Belmont University, where he also serves as the Coordinator of Composition Studies and leads the New Music Ensemble. He is well-known for his vibrant harmonic language and orchestration.

While the performance will be streamed live for free on Facebook, it is encouraged that attendees make a donation or purchase a souvenir program booklet featuring project artwork. To view the piece in its entirety, please visit

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