Simple Gifts: The Chamber Music Society at Shaker Village
Each year on Memorial Day Weekend, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center takes up residency in one of the country's most beautiful historic sites: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky, where a vibrant Shaker community once flourished. Live From Lincoln Center went on the road with the ensemble for the first time in its 40-year history, taking its cameras, trucks and a 15-member crew into the heart of rural America. Performed for a riveted audience in a converted tobacco barn, the concert celebrated American music with unparalleled intimacy and intensity, climaxing with Aaron Copland's iconic "Appalachian Spring," which incorporates a traditional Shaker theme at the heart of the work. The result is both a gorgeous meditation on making music and a window into a unique, under-appreciated corridor of American history. Pulsing with the spirit of the Shakers, the film draws poignant parallels between the relationship between art and craftsmanship, the beauty and hardships of the frontier, and the quest for transcendence in American life.