Orchestra Underground: Eastern Wind Past

Friday, Apr 1, 2016 ,
7:30 PM
- New York, NY, United States

American Composers Orchestra
Orchestra Underground: Eastern Wind
American Composers Orchestra
George Manahan, Music Director and Conductor
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Vocals and Ud
Steven LaBrie, Baritone
Neeraj Jain, Video Artist
SAAD HADDAD Manarah (World Premiere)
GITY RAZAZ Metamorphosis of Narcissus
MEHMET ALI SANLIKOL Harabat / The Intoxicated (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
REENA ESMAIL Avartan for Orchestra and Video (World Premiere)
MATTHIAS PINTSCHER songs from Solomon's garden
Welcome to “Eastern Wind,” which rounds out our Orchestra Underground season at Zankel Hall with new music that draws on Indian, Iranian and Middle Eastern influences. With so much public attention focused on that part of the world, we thought it was high time to explore the nuanced musical threads that have emerged from there, as well as an excellent opportunity to showcase the work of several talented American composers, each writing in a highly personal style.

Saad Haddad is a young composer ACO came to know through our Underwood and EarShot Readings for emerging composers. In his world premiere, he combines electronics with traditional Arab performance practices, with antiphonal trumpets serving as musical beacons that call out from the orchestra.

Iranian-American composer Gity Razaz melds Middle Eastern influences with Surrealist aesthetic, while exploring the myth of Narcissus’s transformation from man to flower. The result is an otherworldly, psycho-musical journey with electronics extending the sonic palette of the orchestra.

Mehmet Ali Sanlikol is a multifaceted composer, singer, performer, and scholar. Tonight, we’ll hear Mehmet sing and play the ud (a Turkish lute) in a world premiere that employs classical Ottoman composition techniques and improvisation, setting an ecstatic poem by a Sufi mystic.

Reena Esmail explores her Hindustani roots in a multimedia premiere that focuses on first impressions. Utilizing the traditional concept of avartan (North Indian rhythmic cycles), she spins out a compelling complex narrative, paired with evocative portraits by her collaborator Neeraj Jain.

In songs from Solomon’s garden , Matthias Pintscher reflects on his extended residence in Israel, fashioning a musical dialogue of the voices in Solomon’s Song of Songs —mixed emotions of love found and lost.

We invite you to continue discovering today’s most innovative composers on June 13–16, the 25th anniversary of our Underwood New Music Readings and round three of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings.

—Derek Bermel, ACO Artistic Director, and George Manahan, ACO Music Director


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