And at the Top of a Hill… Inspiration.

Any artist is not required or expected to give an information on the inspiration, meaning, or story behind a piece of art.  But sometimes, the story is just too great to stay behind closed doors…

And so, here we have it.  A peak behind the inspiration to Summation’s latest and evening length work, At the Hour.  From the creator herself…

Last August I received an email from my dad with one word in the subject box, a link to a video, and a sentence that read: “stuff here for both the skeptical and the devout.”

Some would call my dad…. unconventional. I’d say that’s putting it mildly, but he never fails to entertain, so I figured I’d give it the good ol’ 20 minute viewing, Tom Clements style. (A mandate that he imparted in our youth when my sisters and I balked at his movie picks—give it 20 minutes, if you hate it, we’ll change it.) I ended up becoming so engrossed in the strange story that unfolded, that I watched the documentary in its entirety. And the inspiration for At the Hour was born.


In the simplest version I could relay here, the story tells of four young children living in a small village in Spain called Garabandal, nestled deep in the Cantabrian Mountains of the north. Over the course of two years in the early 60s, the Virgin Mary appeared to these children and delivered prophetic messages about times to come. She foretold events of warning, miracle and punishment of apocalyptic measure if humanity does not correct its conscience. The full narrative weaves a much more complex tale, but the footage of the children during the apparitions is both fascinating and undeniably supernatural. This prophecy is said to play out within the lifetime of one of the young girls, Conchita (currently 66 years old and living in Long Island!), as she was designated the Virgin’s messenger and will alert the world eight days before this series of events is put in motion.


The message at Garabandal resonated with me as I watched our sociopolitical climate grow more and more turbulent, and I dove into further research. By some miracle (pun intended), Taryn and I had the opportunity to travel to Spain, and after a four-hour drive climbing steadily into the mountains, we came upon this curious town stuck in time with its stone houses still devoid of running water and electricity. There was no clap of thunder or other divine show from above (except for an odd confrontation with an anthropomorphic goat, and a few spectral faces in our pictures), but the electric charge in the air was palpable and satisfied my spiritual curiosity in the most visceral of ways.

The process of making At the Hour was extraordinary on many levels, but the deep integration of textual research, visual footage, spiritual ponderings and a visit to the historic site itself gave this experience a richness I could not have anticipated. Thank you to everyone who supported us along the way, saw our interpretation at BAM, asked questions….and to all who have made it to the end of this blog.


For those whose curiosity is peaked, a link to the video here! Would love to hear any thoughts!

Until next time….be well!

– Sumi

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