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Music from an Imaginary Landscape


Sunday, November 24, 2013


02:00 PM–03:30 PM

Music from an Imaginary Landscape

No registration required.
Graham Auditorium

Experience Music from an Imaginary Landscape, Sunday, November 24, 2013, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m., at the Walters Art Museum, Graham Auditorium. Featuring two new musical works commissioned by the Walters, this free concert explores pieces of music that convey a strong sense of place. The Walters' current special exhibition Egypt's Mysterious Book of the Faiyum, which celebrates ancient Egypt's Faiyum region, provides the inspiration for an afternoon of music performed by Peabody Institute faculty and alumni.

The concert showcases premiere performances of Daniel Thomas Davis' Book of the Lake, written in response to the Book of the Faiyum, and Judah Adashi's Inner City, which evokes the sonic landscape of Baltimore. The program will also present Homeless Wanderer (1963) by Emahoy Tsege Mariam, an Ethiopian-Orthodox nun and composer now coming to international attention after sixty years in monastic life. Also performed will be John Luther Adams' ethereal Three High Places (2007) for solo violin. The concert will feature flutes (Rachel Choe; Nick Fitton; Grace Wang), violin (Lauren Rausch), percussion (Kramer Milan), piano/keyboard (Judah Adashi; Daniel Thomas Davis), bass (Joe Magar), and voice (Kristen Dubenion-Smith).

Daniel Thomas Davis offers these remarks on his new composition Book of the Lake: "Throughout my engagement with the ancient Egyptian Book of the Faiyum, I was struck by the ways in which a text so old, strange and seemingly unfamiliar might nonetheless ignite the imagination of a twenty-first-century viewer and listener. My musical response is one in which contemporary sounds resonate alongside intimations of other, older places – and, I hope, one in which ancient voices might somehow speak to life in the present. Scored for flutes, singer, strings, handheld percussion and harpsichord, the piece is divided into five movements – each one a kind of musical map of an imaginary and shifting landscape."

Composer Judah Adashi on his new composition Inner City: "Just as the 2000 year-old Book of the Faiyum vividly crystallizes the life of an ancient Egyptian town, Inner City strives to capture aspects of another metropolis on the water, my hometown of Baltimore. The piece is a kind of love letter, a sonic papyrus articulating some of the ways in which I experience and carry with me the singular spirit of this place. The epigraph to the score invokes one of the city's famous residents, F. Scott Fitzgerald: 'I love Baltimore more than I thought -- it is so rich with memories…'"