James Wilson McConkie was a composer and performer who studied with Arthur Honegger and Nadia Boulanger. In 1953, he died of polio at the age of 32.
When he died he left three young children--James (age 7), Kathleen (age 4), and Michele (age 2). They quickly noticed that talking about their father made their mother sad, so they remained silent about him. The silence continued into adulthood, and this silent grief was passed on to the next generation--James’s grandchildren.
A Night Song examines the intergenerational pain and potent connection resulting from James’s early death, and explores the past, present, and future, collapsed into a single space. The images you will see are James’s actual children; the main character is an amalgam of James’s son and Davey Erekson and Jamie Erekson (his grandsons). This marks their first collaboration with their granddad.