DER Documentary

Southern Voices: A Composer's Exploration with Sorrel Doris Hays

photo by Andreas Buttmann / Radio Bremen

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by George C. Stoney with Sorrel Doris Hays
color, 59 min, 1985

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This documentary traces the development and premiere performance of an avant-garde symphonic work by Southern composer Sorrel Doris Hays. Commissioned by the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Hays' piece is based on the sounds and rhythms of Southern speech and musical traditions. It is a journey into childhood memories via the melodies and rhythms of Southern dialect. Stoney combines analysis of her work with interviews in which Hays discusses her struggle with racism and paternalism of Southern culture.

A note on the composer's name: After the documentary was completed in 1985, Doris Hays changed her name to Sorrel Hays.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1985

This DVD is part of the George C. Stoney Collection

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts