© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Joel Thompson frames James Baldwin in "To Awaken the Sleeper"

Composer Joel Thompson wearing a gray jack with a brown tie, and black rimmed glasses
Joel Thompson

"...an impossible love of this country."

That's one way composer Joel Thompson describes James Baldwin's perspective during the mid-to-late twentieth century in his program notes to "To Awaken the Sleeper," a work for narrator and orchestra, with words of Baldwin, that will be presented by the Louisville Orchestra on March 11th in the final concert of their "Festival of American Music." In this conversation, Thompson talks about his decision to use Baldwin's words as spoken text (rather than setting them to music) and the role of music in speaking against injustice.

In 2022, WUOL presented Thompson's "Seven Last Words of the Unarmed" on New Lens at 21c.

Daniel Gilliam is Program Director for LPM Classical. Email Daniel at dgilliam@lpm.org.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.