As we struggle to understand and overcome the challenges of living in a divided and divisive world, the concept of community is more important now than ever. In this time of conflict and dissent, The Esoterics offers a program of three new choral works on the theme of community: to inspire reflection and respect, creation and renewal, inclusion and support. The concert pieces include the West Coast premiere of Messages to myself by Christopher Theofanidis, the reprise of The wheel of time, the dance by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, and Banks’ own 2015 composition, This delicate universe.
In the four movements of his 2007 song cycle, Messages to myself, Christopher Theofanidis has given voice to verses by Rumi, Whitman, Yeats, and the contemporary poet Amy Beth Kirsten. These words inspired Theofanidis to create a series of meditations on various aspects of community: from finding one’s own voice and hearing the voice of others, to the benefits of critical thinking, loving one’s neighbor, and the interdependence of our collective humanity.
In The wheel of time, the dance (2014), Aaron Jay Kernis chose to set four poems by the environmental activist and Kentucky farmer Wendell Berry. After departing the initial bustle of the city, Berry’s verses pay homage to the cycles found in time and nature, life and love, with images of light and darkness, field and forest, land and air, water and weather. For Kernis, the wheel of time allows for “the sweet enclosure of the song,” and inspires an eternal dance with everyone – our families, friends, neighbors, and departed ancestors. Through this dance, we gain an emotional connection to our own geography and genealogy, and even after losing ourselves, we are still able to find our own way home.
This program will conclude with Eric Banks’ a cappella choral symphony, This delicate universe (2015), winner of the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America and the American Composers Forum. Banks’ 32-minute works sets five poems by the Greek-Egyptian poet Constantine Cavafy that explore five different “universes,” or meditations on connectedness: the sharing of one’s art, the familiar comfort of one’s neighborhood, the inextricable link between place and memory, the most intimate interaction between lovers, and the mystical, spiritual embrace of the great unknown, in “the sacred silence of creation.”
The Esoterics will be offering four performances of INTIMAS. We hope that you will join us for extraordinary concert!
Sunday | 2 Apr 2017 | 300pm | St John’s Episcopal Church | 114 20th Ave SE | Olympia*
*There are no tickets for this concert. There will be a free-willing offering at the door.
Friday | 7 Apr 2017 | 800pm | Holy Rosary Catholic Church | 4142 42nd Avenue SW | West Seattle
Saturday | 8 Apr 2017 | 800pm | St Stephen’s Episcopal Church | 4805 NE 45th Street | Seattle
Sunday | 9 Apr 2017 | 700pm | Christ Episcopal Church | 310 North K Street | Tacoma