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Julia Wolfe

Anthracite Fields

Cantaloupe Music

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Anthracite Fields by Julia Wolfe: Full Documentary
Composer Julia Wolfe | 2016 MacArthur Fellow
1 Foundation
2 Breaker Boys
3 Speech
4 Flowers
5 Appliances
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Haunting, poignant and relentlessly physical, Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields is a lovingly detailed oratorio about turn-of-the-20th-century Pennsylvania coal miners, and a fitting recipient of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music. NPR Music's Tom Huizenga describes the piece as "...almost a public history project and a music project at the same time," which hints at the work's universal appeal. Weaving together personal interviews that she conducted with miners and their families, along with oral histories, speeches, rhymes and local mining lore, Wolfe sought to honor the working lives of Pennsylvania's anthracite region. "It's not necessarily mainstream history," she told NPR shortly after she received word of winning the Pulitzer. "The politics are very fascinating-the issues about safety, and the consideration for the people who are working and what's involved in it. 

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Online: The New Yorker, Second Inversion, Taintradio, Audiophile Audition

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