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 Sondheim — Into the Woods (arrangement by Andy Akiho)
(with paintings by Camryn Connolly)
Jarosław Kapuściński — Side 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.