WATCH FROM HOME: Southern Voices

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

Available on DSL and DVD

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.

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