Mason Bates on "Passage"
Mason Bates talks about the creation of his piece "Passage," which premiered at the John F. Kennedy Centennial Celebration with the National Symphony Orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma on May 24, 2017. "Passage" examines the theme of American exploration through the visionary words of Walt Whitman and John F. Kennedy. Composed for renowned mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and the NSO, the work imaginatively sets Whitman's "Passage to India" alongside recorded fragments of JFK's moonshot speech. Two iconic American voices—that of poet and President—come together on a journey to the ever-expanding human frontier.