Axis: Philadelphia

An explosion reverberates throughout a city's past and future.

  • Project Created By

    Ars Nova Workshop

    Winner of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly” award, Ars Nova Workshop (ANW) is an internationally recognized jazz, experimental, and new classical music presenter founded in 2000.

  • Project Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Composers
  • Project Dates
    Start Date
    October 1, 2020
    End Date
    December 1, 2021

Axis: Philadelphia

An explosion reverberates throughout a city's past and future.

Ars Nova Workshop will commission a work from composer/performer Lea Bertucci entitled “Axis: Philadelphia,” dealing with a massive explosion in June at the largest oil-processing plant on the East Coast. The facility, until recently owned by Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), is located in a densely populated section of Philadelphia, occupying more than two square miles. The impact of the plant’s long history in the city—environmentally, economically, and catastrophically— reaches back to 1905. This most recent fire resulted in an explosion that sent metal fragments flying—one of them of about 38,000 lbs., approximately the size of a fully loaded Greyhound bus, flew across the Schuylkill River and landed on the opposite bank.

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