Library at Night

The Library at Night – Official Trailer
The Library at Night – Live at Consumnes River College

The Library at Night

I premiered The Library at Night at the San Diego Public Library in March 2016. Drawing inspiration from Alberto Manguel’s book of the same name (a series of essays on the idea of the library), this captivating new recital takes the listener on a literary, musical and historical journey through time and place. For several of Manguel’s essays (e.g. The Library as Imagination, The Library as Space, The Library as Oblivion) Colin interweaves music alongside poetry, historical vignettes and visual imagery in an engaging concert-length presentation. The compelling selection of music includes masters of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque polyphony, the first “Golden Age” of the guitar, sensual rhythms from Latin America and a newly commissioned work, Spines, by award-winning composer Christopher Adler. Join us for an unforgettable evening in The Library at Night and experience a feast for the ears, eyes and mind. To date, I have performed the concert in sixteen cities:

San Diego, California (March 2016)
Arvada, Colorado (May 2016)
Broomfield, Colorado (January 2017)
Colorado Springs, Colorado (February 2017) with Alberto Manguel
La Jolla, California (March 2017)
Charlottesville, Virginia (October 2017)
Sacramento, California (April 2018)
Mexico City, Mexico (August 2018)
Portland, Oregon (October 2018)
Boulder, Colorado (October 2018)
Breckenridge, Colorado (February 2019)
Carlsbad, California (April 2019)
Mattoon, Illinois (April 2019)
Danville, Illinois (April 2019)
San Marcos, California (November 2019)
Strafford, Vermont (December 2019)

The Première

night (2)Tuesday, 22 March 2016 marked the première of The Library at Night at the San Diego Public Library in the Shiley Special Events Suite, featuring stunning views overlooking the city. The Hervey Family Rare Books Room opened its doors after hours for a special display of old and rare books from the Wangenheim Collection. This display was curated by Colin McAllister and librarian Katherine Reeve and included incunabula from Renaissance printers Aldus Manutius and Nicolas Jenson, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of Francesco Colonna, numerous Bibles and Books of Hours. The Library at Night was generously underwritten by Julia S. Falk, Ph.D.

Words from the author of the book ‘The Library at Night’

We believe that the Library of Alexandria was lodged in the Museum, the House of the Muses, daughters of the goddess Memory. All libraries inherit this inspired generosity of being lodged –and at the same time lodging– the nine muses and their arts. Libraries are not the exclusive realm of books: they hold images, maps, scores, scientific instruments and words in a myriad forms. In the sixth century, Saint Benedict maintained that unless prayer and chant were performed “as in the presence of angels” (as the Psalmist says) we create a “zone of dissimilarity”, a remoteness from true things that not only makes us dissimilar to them, but also to ourselves and to what it means to be human. All readers, all performers at their best, read and perform to bridge this remoteness. Conjuring up timeless music among timeless books in his “Library at Night”, Colin McAllister has succeeded in bringing to life the library’s relationship to all nine muses, “as in the presence of angels.”

A.Manguel 3

– Alberto Manguel, New York, 25 January 2016