On Friday, October 15th, 2021 at 8pm Notes for Growth Foundation presents Tremün: Celebrating Indigenous Roots — their debut concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. Tickets are $15-30 and are available for purchase at carnegiehall.org.

This concert will feature the premiere of nine new works by Latinx composers Patricio Molina, Ramón Catalan, Aina Sandoval, Carlos Zamora, and Sebastian Vergara in collaboration with Mapuche poets Roxana Miranda Rupailaf and María Lara Millapan, amplifying their powerful poetry to a new audience in New York City. The compositional style is accessible, using indigenous rhythms, stylistic motifs, and stories.

Performers include Notes for Growth Ambassadors and internationally acclaimed BIPOC musicians Sonya Headlam, soprano, Alejandro Mendoza, violin, and Enriqueta Somarriba, piano, among others. The concert concludes with legendary opera singer Verónica Villarroel in a performance that is the first of its kind, in which Ms. Villarroel will perform folk songs of indigenous peoples from the north of Chile.

This concert is poised to show Notes for Growth’s mission dedicated to equity, sustainability, and music education. (Biographies of all composers and performers are available upon request.)

Tremün means “growth” in Mapudungun, the language of native Chilean people known as the Mapuche. Tremün is a celebration of music by and inspired by indigenous peoples around the world including Peru, Mexico, Jamaica, and Chile.

Dr. Patricio Molina, Chilean-Syrian composer and pianist, is a Dreamer immigrant to the US. He graduated this spring from Rutgers University with his second of two doctorates, a Ph.D. in Music Composition, after a D.M.A. in Piano Performance, the first double-doctorate in the history of the university. He was recently named a Cleveland Institute of Music 2021 Future of Music Faculty Fellow.

His studies of Arabic music inspired by his heritage influenced a recently commissioned piece with the New Jersey Youth Symphony in collaboration with the creation of a new app designed for his music by Nokia Bell Labs.

Dr. Molina is the co-founder and president of Notes for Growth, whose mission to create access to music education for all children regardless of their circumstances has donated nearly 30 pianos and other instruments to institutions providing free music education in Chile, the NYC Metropolitan area, and worldwide. 

The program includes several world premieres, such as: 

Kelülwe by Patricio Molina
Patricio Molina, piano

Kuruf by Sebastian Vergara
Daniel Lamas, viola
Enriqueta Somarriba, piano

El Condor Pasa Variation by Patricio Molina
Alejandro Mendoza, violin
Patricio Molina, piano

Otoño en Tierra del Fuego by Aina Sandoval
Daniel Lamas, viola
Darwin Cosme Sanchez, flute
Claudia Peñailillo, clarinet
Enriqueta Somarriba, piano

Nocturne Elegie for clarinet and piano
Claudia Peñailillo, clarinet
Ramon Catalan, piano

Kecha Tregüfle by Patricio Molina (in Mapudungun)
Sonya Headlam, voice
Alejandro Mendoza, violin
Patricio Molina, piano

For more information, please visit Notes For Growth’s website

Humanity First: We Are All In This Together

Jenny Q Chai incorporates her exceptional artistry with striking visual elements, including NASA data visualizations, to highlight climate change and COVID-19 challenges. Includes two Bay Area premieres.

Sponsored by San Francisco’s Ross McKee Foundation and featured as part of their Piano Break series, Bay Area and Shanghai based pianist Jenny Q Chai will perform a free evening length concert on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 5:00 pm, Pacific time (8:00pm Eastern time).

This concert will last under an hour and will be broadcast by way of rossmckeefoundation.org/event/jenny-chai-2021-05-07. Pre-registration is not required.

At the conclusion of every Piano Break, the audience can meet the artist and ask questions in a live Zoom Green Room: rossmckeefoundation.org/zoom .

Entitled Humanity First: We Are All In This Together, the concert includes the following works:

Jarosław Kapuściński — Oli’s Dream
György Ligeti — Musica Ricercata No.1 with NASA global warming data visualizations
György Ligeti — Musica Ricercata No.7 with NASA global warming data visualizations
Milica Pavlovic*Paranosic Bubble (in trouble) with bubble machine and lights
Stephen SondheimInto the Woods (arrangement by Andy Akiho)
(with paintings by Camryn Connolly)
Jarosław KapuścińskiSide Effects, with photography by Kacper Kowalski

This will be Ms. Chai’s first solo virtual concert, her first concert designed during the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. and her first concert in 2021. *Work by Pavlovic is a Bay Area Premiere.

In Chai’s words, “Globally, we are experiencing the same kind of difficulties, and yet trying to survive, to adapt, to thrive and to hold on to hope. It is a heightened time for us to remember to unite together as earthlings. We must take care of our earth, global health systems, strategizing, communications and planning, in order to survive together.” Last year, Chai gave a TEDx talk, When Classical Music Meets Technology. Chai believes that art needs to reflect the current state of our world, and to raise awareness in people about social issues.

For many years, Chai has been creating thematic programs for issues to reflect our current society, such as her global warming program Acqua Alta which she toured and performed for six years. The works in the May 7th concert by Ligeti, Pavlovic and Kapuschinski’s Side Effects originate from this program. Chai’s performance of the Ligeti works use NASA’s data visualization on global warming’s effect on water. Side Effects is an AI interactive intermedia piece with visuals shot by aerial photographer/pilot Kacper Kowalski, about the earth as its seasons change from summer to winter. The remaining works address humanity: Oli’s Dream is also AI interactive, as it types out a poem about our hopes and dreams with tenderness. The Into the Woods arrangement mirrors how Chai felt about the messiness of being in the US during the pandemic under the Trump administration. 

For more about Jenny Q Chai, please visit jennychai.com
For more about the Ross McKee Foundation, visit rossmckeefoundation.org

On Monday, December 7th, 2020 from 6 to 7:30pm PTFulcrum Arts presents an interactive session with Peter McDowell, going over the basic principles of how to raise money for a project as an individual artist or small artist collective. Peter puts particular emphasis on virtual events, as he has just completely two successful online fundraisers. This is recommended for artists of all kinds, and is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is $5 and is online. Click here to RSVP.

Fulcrum Arts is based in Pasadena, CA, and champions creative and critical thinkers at the intersection of art and science to provoke positive social change and contribute to a more vibrant and inclusive community. They are dedicated to building cultural equity into the very structure and fabric of the organization at all levels ensuring that underrepresented populations and voices are included and heard. Fulcrum Arts supports creative practices that incorporate broader, non-western, and Indigenous traditions that resonate within the nexus of art, science, and social change to expand, define, and further human achievement.

Fulcrum Arts’ Emerge fiscal sponsorship program increases the capacity of independent artists, collectives, and small arts organizations by offering financial management, fundraising consulting, and the ability to seek funding through fiscal sponsorship. Our goal is to provide artists with the necessary tools to create sustainable practices, while allowing them to remain independent, dynamic, and responsive to the shifting social and economic contexts in which they live and work.

For more information, please visit fulcrumarts.org

Peter McDowell is an arts management expert with more than two decades of experience serving artists and organizations at the highest level. Currently Director of Development for American Friends of the Louvre in Los Angeles, he has held leadership positions at Opera America, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and most recently as managing director of the Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird. His firm, Peter McDowell Arts Consulting, offers a wide range of strategic career services for performing artists. As a publicist, Peter has garnered press coverage for his clients in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, and many other important outlets.

Peter is in demand as a speaker and workshop leader on diverse topics in career development and arts entrepreneurship. He has been an invited presenter at the Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern School of Music, Eastman School of Music, The Colburn School, Chamber Music America, and the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). He is also a documentary filmmaker and is currently at work on his full-length feature, Jimmy in Saigon. He is a recently graduated International Fellow from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. He received his undergraduate degree in French from the University of Illinois and his Masters in Business – Arts Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

In October 2020, New York City based Composer David Claman is releasing his new album, Gradus, on Albany Records. A thirteen track collection of new recordings of compositions and interpretations from throughout Claman’s whole career, Gradus borrows from a canyon of inspirations: from Indian Classical to electronic experimentation. The album also gathers performances from several celebrated musicians, including India’s singing priest Paul Poovathingal, twice GRAMMY®-nominated flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, New York’s New Thread Saxophone Quartet, guitarist-composer Steve Mackey, and vocalist Sunita Vatuk, Claman’s wife and collaborator.

Loose Canons II opens the album as a preview towards the end, where it is reprised in more movements, taking as its model Johannes Ockeghem’s Missa Prolationum. Here, a continuous three-part composition is presented by three electric guitars with sustain devices, leading into an interpolation of Jimi Hendrix, before completely dissolving the canon.

The one-minute track Brit finds Claman narrating a famous passage from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, surrounded by an unlikely ensemble of computers, cellphones, toys, CD players, microwaves, all recorded with a telephone tap. Claman conjures Melville’s allegorical ‘sea of the human soul’ with his own ‘ocean’ of electromagnetic sounds.  Literary allusions continue in both From a Dream and Rescue The Dead, featuring soprano Elizabeth Farnum singing the text of the late American poet David Ignatow. Claman again finds joy in contradiction, nuance, existentialism, and importantly, open interpretation — a concept that he takes in the aptly titled Liberties Taken. There, the New Thread Quartet plays through Tiruvottiyur Tyagayya’s Sahana Raga Varnam, adding in newly arranged elements, while preserving much of the work’s original character.

With musicians and inspirations from all walks of life, Gradus presents a throughline in Claman’s work that he says, “speaks to each other across decades, continents, and centuries of shared influences.” Claman, a self-described ‘hard-core atheist’ adds nevertheless that the works evoke an underlying and unspoken yet certain spirituality. Just in time for our very uncertain world.

For more about David Claman, please visit davidclaman.com

To inquire about a physical or digital review copy,
please write to [email protected]

This year, Toronto-based vocalist Fides Krucker‘s first foray into improvisatory composition Vanishing is released in the United States and internationally on guitarist Tim Motzer’s own 1k Recordings imprint.

Made up of spontaneous compositions, the album finds the musical unit of Krucker and Motzer exploring six surreal, melancholic, and emotionally charged tracks they dub as ‘lost worlds’ and ‘sonic films’. Born of five days of improvisation in 2017 in a Philadelphia heatwave, Vanishing’s six tracks are intended to present wordless stories and ‘conversations’ between the musician’s organic interplay. Of the compositional process, Motzer notes that, “[regardless of] the choice of a key or mode, the parameters of loops, or microphones; it did not take much for one of us to begin and the other to follow. Twice—when one voice was not enough—Fides added a second improvised line.”

Vanishing opens with the brief “Scintilla”: Krucker’s voice sings with crystal clarity on simple vocables, as Motzer’s plaintive guitar crawls in, and the song comes to a natural, grieving crescendo. Throughout the rest of the album, Krucker continues to masterfully present various haunting colors from her voice: hums, lilt, sob, twang, fry, chant, breaks, drones, and operatic wails that veer into glossolalia. She evokes the broad kinship of other vocal pioneers like Patty Waters, Cathy Berberian, and Lisa Gerrard — all while maintaining her own identity. 

Similarly exploratory is Motzer, who sympathetically uses prepared guitar, e-bow, and electronic elements to ensure an immersive, otherworldly soundtrack. On the title track “Vanishing”, he uses reversed sounds and a Spanish-like guitar feel for a beautiful underlay; whereas on “Ruins” and “Eema”, both artists weave unnerving but engaging dark, synthetic atmospheres with real-time loops and modification.

New York-based drummer Jeremy Carlstedt joins the duo on both “Density” and the title track, adding sensitive textural support throughout. Of “Density”, Krucker says, “it was made after a conversation about Trump — that’s why it is so heavy — and that was Summer 2017. Things are so much worse now. There is a grieving in the album and a sharing of culture…”

Advanced praise from a previously limited Canadian release of Vanishing comes by way of Innerviews, where Anil Prasad paints Krucker’s voice as both “lovely” and “elastic” — and All About Jazz, whose Geno Thackara boldly glows, “Fides Krucker’s voice is less an instrument than a force of nature.” The Whole Note’s Andrew Timar also described the album as “cinematic in scope”, pegging the musicianship as “superb”. Timar also quips, “some days taking a walk on the sonic wild side is what the doctor should order.”

Vanishing is now available for download and streaming on Bandcamp: https://1krecordings.bandcamp.com/album/vanishing

A special CD pressing is also available, signed by the artists. The CD is limited to 200 copies, and includes an 8” x 12” poster. Photography for the album was provided by Avraham Bank, and designed by Yesim Tosuner of Backyard Design.

Works on the album are:
1 Scintilla・2 Vanishing・3 Ruins・4 Rime・5 Density・6 Eema

For more about the artists, please visit fideskrucker.com and timmotzer.com

To inquire about a physical or digital review copy,
please write to [email protected]