Please join us for an evening with Louisville-based ensemble A/Tonal at 21c Museum Hotel Louisville on Sunday, November 18. A/Tonal will present five compelling works that, similar to 21c Louisville’s current exhibition, Dress Up, Speak Up: Costume and Confrontation, evoke ideas relating to the past and present and memory and desire. Each of the musical compositions will be paired with an artwork in 21c Louisville’s current exhibition that addresses a similar subject matter to explore the ways in which visual artists and musicians approach these ideas.
Musical works to be performed:
Valerie Coleman: Portraits of Langston
Mary Kouyoumdjian: Sedna, Beneath the Sea (Requiem, Above Waters)
Erich Stem: Dream Sights
Ellen Ruth Harrison: Echo of One
Jennifer Bellor: Stay
Valarie Coleman’s Portraits of Langston depicts Hughes’s poetic memories of Harlem and Europe (mainly Paris). Coleman writes, “His poems are so descriptive of the era, with references to particular settings and individuals that influenced him: Josephine Baker, Helen Keller, the nightlife and music of Harlem jazz clubs and Parisian cabarets. The imagery that Hughes provides gives me quite a historical palette that inspires me to illustrate a work truly unique to duo repertoire.” Jennifer Bellor takes a look into the inner-workings of memory itself with her work, Stay. In this piece, the clarinet plays a role in representing “the subjectivity we have when recalling past events and how our interpretations can creep in and re-shape the memories we have over time.” Erich Stem’s Dream Sights attempts to capture similar visual abstracts created by dreams and how they often serve as a window to our past or to the foreboding or peaceful views of our future. In Sedna, Beneath the Sea (Requiem, Above Waters), Mary Kouyoumdjian explores the Inuit legend of Sedna. In this story, Sedna’s father takes her out to sea and drowns her after learning that Sedna rejected the husband chosen for her in favor of marrying her companion dog. The legend plays out with her becoming a sea goddess who can, with her heart filled with anger, become angry, resulting in denying hunters the creatures of the sea. Whether listeners hear music that takes them to a moment in time or opens a window to the complex and amazing world of memory, this program captures the essence of how art can reveal the depths of meaning in culture, reality, or fiction.
Image of A/Tonal by Meagan Jordan Photography