Events

Special Event: Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble presents: Not Two

Fri, April 15, 2016 7:30 pm at Cleveland Museum of Art

(View all special events »)

Rivers of Soundis a large ensemble of instrumentalists from Western and Middle Eastern traditions, exploring the confluences of a musical language that transcends notions of tradition and style. In performing Not Two, an original composition by Amir ElSaffar, each musician interacts with the group through both improvised and composed material to create a novel composite sound.

The group's performance schedule continues in 2016 with concerts in the following venues:

Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 8:00pm at The Kimmel Center - Perelman Theater, Philadelphia, PA

Friday, April 15, 2016 at 7:30pm at The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (Buy tickets)

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 8:00pm at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE (Buy tickets)

The musicians:

Amir ElSaffar, trumpet/santur
Carlo DeRosa, acoustic bass
Craig Taborn, piano
Dena ElSaffar, violin/jowza
Fabrizio Cassol, alto saxophone
George Ziadeh, oud/vocals
Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone
JD Parran, bass saxophone/clarinet
Miles Okazaki, guitar
Mohammed Saleh, oboe/English horn
Naseem AlAtrash, cello
Nitin Mitta, tabla Nasheet Waits, drums
Ole Mathisen, tenor saxophone/soprano saxophone
Rajna Swaminathan, mridangam
Tareq Abboushi, buzuq
Tim Moore, percussion/dumbek/frame drum
Zafer Tawil, percussion/oud

Composer, trumpeter, santur player and vocalist, Amir ElSaffar, an expert in Jazz and Iraqi maqam, has forged his novel approach to combining musical languages through his six-piece ensembleTwo Rivers. Over the past eight years, the group has released three CD’s on Pi Recordings.Crisis,the most recent, was a Newport Jazz Festival commission. Jazz critic of the The Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich, declared Crisis “one of the most beautiful and evocative jazz recordings of the year.” A reviewer for The Wire, stated that “ElSaffar is uniquely poised to reconcile jazz and Arabic music without doing either harm…the result of engagement across the board, presented with clarity and eloquence.”

Rivers of Sound:Not Twois a continuation of theTwo Riversconcept, but projected onto a wider canvas unprecedented in scope and imagination. Microtonal maqam melodies traverse a richly-textured bed of sound created by oud, buzuk, and santur, in combination with cello, violin, saxophones, English horn and trumpet. Also at play are multilayered, rhythmic patterns and harmonies performed by re-tuned vibraphone, piano and guitar. The drum set, mridangam, dumbek, frame drums and double-bass provide the rhythmic foundation and subdivisions of the multiple currents. Resonance across rhythmic, tonal, and timbral spectra, and across musical traditions, is the guiding principle.

ElSaffar’s music is at once unique and engaging, full of heart and passion. Challenging notions of composition vs. improvisation, tradition vs. modernity, microtonality/modality vs. harmony, his compositions bring to light the universality of music across cultures. Given the catastrophes befalling the people of the Middle Eastern and Arab lands, his music is both timely and urgent as he is preserving elements of these cultures by bringing them into context with contemporary musical forms.

ElSaffar received funding from the MAP Fund and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, to create Rivers of Sound. The 17 members came to New York City from as far away as Qatar, Palestine, and Brussels in April for three days of rehearsal, the premiere of Not Two at the Lincoln Center, and an epic 14-hour day at Avatar Studios, where they recorded the 80-minute suite directly to tape. ElSaffar believes that the nature of this sound cannot be captured digitally and has committed to all analog, with a double LP to be released in the Fall of 2016.

***

The highest ideal inmaqam musicis to reach a state of tarab, or “musical ecstasy,” which results from the melting away of borders between a notion of self and other, as performers and audience revel together in the music. As pitches and rhythms become fluid, so do cultural boundaries: elements that traditionally divide musicians and genre-specific modes are re-contextualized in a fresh transcultural soundscape.

Last updated: 2016-04-12 23:50:47

Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble
Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble
Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble
Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble
Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble
Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble

Cleveland Museum of Art

11150 East Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Alwan Auction 2016

Join Our Mailing List:

Email:

Classes

Classes are currently being scheduled. Please check back soon for updates.

Twitter

Directions

16 Beaver Street
4th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732 3261
Email Us

Alwan for the Arts is accessible to people with disabilities. Please call 646 732 3261 in advance, or, buzz at the door to arrange a ramp.

© 2017 Alwan for the Arts

Hosting donated by:
Marefa.org, the Arabic Encyclopedia