Fear No Music is proud to announce its 2018-19 concert season, “Worldwide Welcome,” a celebration of diversity and inclusivity through music. The programmatic arc of “Worldwide Welcome” will harness the momentum created with last season’s theme “Hope In The Dark,” building on the exploration of music as activism, but with an outward facing rather than reflective agenda. Through vibrant local and national collaborations, high-concept programs, and the specific appropriation of some of the most salient topics related to our national identity, “Worldwide Welcome” places Fear No Music firmly in the role of public advocate for global peace and equity.
Last year’s “Hope In The Dark” concerts showcased the possibilities for music to act as an effective tool to incite awareness and ultimately political or social change. The year was a tremendous success, drawing rave reviews from fans and critics alike who noted that the group “commendably devoted its season to music by those deemed unwelcome by the dominant cultural and political establishment.” (Oregon Arts Watch) However, there is too much local and global inequality going unchecked for Artistic Director Kenji Bunch to let the theme rest after just one season. He says:
“The musicians that comprise Fear No Music are all individually committed to social justice, and the recent years of national unrest have amplified that passion. As an organization, we find ourselves compelled to leverage our talent and public identity to shine a light on the stories of those who are misunderstood or suffering hardship. Additionally, in presenting music that takes a stance, we aim to demonstrate without a doubt the relevance, power and importance of music at a time when it too is facing adversity by way of cuts in education and funding.”
Taken from Emma Lazarus’ unforgettable inscription on the Statue of Liberty, “From her beacon hand/ Glows world-wide welcome,” this Fear No Music season reminds us that our national identity is inextricably linked to embracing global community.
“Worldwide Welcome” performances take place at 7:30pm (with the exception of “Folk You, Too!”) at The Old Church Concert Hall in downtown Portland:
September 24, 2018 – “Shared Paths: The Music of Migration”
Special guest pianist (and Portland native) Kathleen Supové guides the audience on an exploration of natural phenomenon centered around the yearly Vaux’s Swift Migration. Touching on themes of immigration and open borders, this performance serves to remind us of the close, harmonic company we keep with other species.
December 10, 2018 – “All of The Future: In Celebration of Children”
Famously described in a 1981 US Department of Health Survey as “one-third of the population and all of the future,” today’s children face unique and unprecedented challenges throughout the world. Fear No Music presents emotional new works that examine issues such as gun violence, homophobia, migration, suicide and grief. The program includes works by David Del Tredici, Larry Bell, and the only performance ever of Kenji Bunch’s Sandcastle No. 6.
January 21, 2019 – “Locally Sourced Sounds”
Fear No Music has a long tradition of championing and supporting local talent and culture. This annual program celebrates music created right here in the Pacific Northwest by the composers living among us. Come hear brand new music, including the premiere of a work generated by the group’s Call For Scores. A post-concert reception offers opportunity for audience members to mingle with the composers while enjoying fine craft food and beverage offerings by prominent
March 25, 2019 – “Because Of Her, We Make Songs: Music for Female Poets”
With a title borrowed from a poem by Luci Tapahonso, the first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nations, this concert focuses on musical settings of text by women poets from around the world. The program features songs by Ricky Ian Gordon, Florence B. Price, Jenni Pinnock, and Lee Hoiby, among others.
May 6, 2019 – “Japanarama: The Ongoing Influence of Japanese Culture”
For a country the size of California, Japan has long provided an outsized influence on Western culture. In this special collaboration with Portland Taiko, Fear No Music celebrates continuing trends in today’s musical world. As part of the steadfast work of looking beyond borders with curiosity and respect, this program highlights the diverse fabric of our own neighborhoods.
June 14, 2019 (12pm) – “ Folk you, too!”
A re-airing of last season’s bonus concert, this program is a vibrantly diverse and creative showcase of music from countries around the world that have been maligned and misunderstood in our national conversation. Featured composers are Arturo Corrales of El Salvador, Joshua Uzoigwe of Nigeria, and Haitian-American Nathalie Joachim. The concert coincides with President Donald Trump’s birthday, and as a special tribute, concludes with Daniel Felsenfeld’s Presidential Address, a sober, unflinching setting of the President’s own words from the infamous Access:Hollywood tapes.