“My favorite [project]! I want to do it with projection and animation and talking about my life with [Marc] Chagall, thoughts about what I did with him, and the songs that I wrote for him,” Jon Anderson told me many years ago when talking about the opus he had been working on, on and off, since 1982. “I became friends with him in the south of France for five years, that’s why I wrote this music. Initially, I wrote a dance piece with two songs and sang it to him, and then I wanted to make it into a big musical. Which I did.” Only the musical wasn’t made public then, sentenced to a bootleg existence, but a workshop which will take place in San Francisco on January 22nd is about to change this.
A few fragments from the unreleased album appeared on some other Anderson’s records – a version of “Is It Love” the singer recut with Vangelis cropped up on the "Page Of Life" in 1991 – yet the proper stage realization of Jon’s idea is still to be seen. What will be aired during The San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s presentation titled “Marc Chagall: The Color of Love” is a selections from the almost apocryphal musical – performed by a cast of vocalists, impersonating real persons including the composer, although the legendary YES warbler doesn’t sing.
The selection of pieces for the evening and the role call run like this:
1. Prologue – Chagall’s First Song – Jon Anderson
2. Twice Upon A Lifetime – Young Jon Anderson
3. The Nature Of My Life – Young Chagall & Mama
4. Is It Love – Young Chagall & Young Bella
5. Mother Russia – Young Chagall, Young Bella & Ensemble
6. For Evermore – Chagall & Bella
7. Such Is The Man – Vava
8. Take Your Time – Young Vava & Chagall
9. Where Does Music Come From – Jon Anderson
10. Unbroken Spirit – Chagall