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Investigating gravity


Purchase tickets for October 6th in Laurelhurst

Purchase tickets for October 7th in West Seattle

Purchase tickets for October 8th in Tacoma




With its origins in the ancient Latin word for “weight” or “heaviness,” our modern definition of gravity has come to describe the force that draws us downward, keeps us grounded, and embraces an outlook that is sober, serious, severe, and of imminent consequence. This October, The Esoterics will offer a concert of new choral music on this theme, GRAVITAS: to remind us and inspire us toward greater sincerity, solemnity, depth, and community thoughtfulness.

This autumn concert program will feature two choral cycles by the New York composer Robert Paterson. Rob’s The essence of gravity is a four-movement onomatopoeic exploration of love and war, orbits and tides, from the violence of “gravity bombs” to the serenity of outer space. Paterson’s Eternal reflections is a cycle of heartfelt poems by Czeslaw Milosz, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Mary Elizabeth Frye. The ensemble will also reprise Steven Stucky’s madrigal Gravity’s dream, a whimsical setting of a poem by the composer’s longtime friend, Kate Light.

The centerpiece of GRAVITAS will be the world premieres by the three winners of this year’s POLYPHONOS competition: Conrad Asman (from Cape Town, South Africa), Daniel Sabzghabaei (from Ithaca via Baltimore), and Vahram Sarkissian (from Montreal via Yerevan, Armenia). In My eyes are always hungry, Asman has set verses by Audre Lorde written in memory of Emmett Till, a black youth whose 1955 murder is often considered “the hate crime that changed America.” In The blue booby, Sabzghabaei has set a poem by James Tate that describes a day in the life of the Galapagos birds, and his vivid score extends Tate’s own poetic gravitas. In Mheri dur [The door of Mher], Sarkissian recounts a portion of the Armenian Epic of Sassoon, in which a warrior’s own guilt impedes him from crossing the threshold of his self-imposed imprisonment.

All three composers will be joining us for the entire concert weekend,
and we are excited to meet our guest composers and share their music with you!

The Esoterics will be offering three performances of GRAVITAS.
We hope that you will join us for this extraordinary concert series.

Friday | 6 Oct 2017 | 800pm | St Stephen’s Episcopal Church | 4805 NE 45th Street | Seattle
Saturday | 7 Oct 2017 | 800pm | Holy Rosary Catholic Church | 4142 42nd Avenue SW | West Seattle
Sunday | 8 Oct 2017 | 700pm | Christ Episcopal Church | 310 North K Street | Tacoma