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Shared Paths: The Music of Migration

September 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Guest pianist (and Portland native) Kathleen Supové guides the audience on a musical exploration of natural phenomenon centered around the yearly Vaux’s Swift Migration. Touching on themes of immigration and open borders, these performances are offered in partnership with the Audubon Society of Portland and serve to remind us of the close, harmonic company we keep with other species. This thoughtful program embraces the context of bird migration to showcase humanity’s own experience with migration as an instinct for self-preservation.

This performance includes three WORLD PREMIERES, newly composed for the occasion:

  • Jay Derderian: The People They Think We Are (for piano, fixed media, and video)

  • Randall Woolf: A Face In The Crowd (for piano)

  • Paula Matthusen: …by the inexplicabilities we call coincidence (for piano with high- and low-tech sounds)

Jay Derderian’s work is fueled by the harrowing migrations of his immediate ancestors, the Armenian people; US government practices regarding the separation of family members today trigger the pain associated with the multi-year forced estrangement of generations past. Epic, angry, bleak, yet hopeful, Derderian utilizes field recordings and video imagery of the swifts flying into the Chapman chimney. Brooklyn-based composer Randall Woolf offers a romantic song about one bird, with abrupt intrusions swooping and rushing. With special attention to the visual notation of the piece, the look of the pages “sounds” like the music with gestures suggesting the patterns of the birds as they fly into their lodging for the night. Paula Matthusen is a low- and high-tech wizard, and is fascinated by things that happen in specific places. Her piece is about the repurposing of spaces—a chimney becomes a temporary home, the inside of a piano becomes a welcoming cave.

In addition, Fear No Music musicians and guest clarinetist James Shields performing:

  • Michi Wiancko: Lullaby for the Transient for string quartet and clarinet

  • Kaija Saariaho: Laconisme de L’aile (The Essence of the Wing) for flute & electronics

  • Katie Palka: Stolen Flight for string quartet

  • Takashi Yoshimatsu: Fuzzy Bird Sonata for clarinet and piano

$10 Online Presale Students/Seniors
$20 Online Presale Regular

$15 Door Sales Students/Seniors
$25 Door Regular

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September 24, 2018
7:30 pm
Event Category:


The Old Church

1422 SW 11th Ave




United States

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(503) 222-2031