Silkroad clarinetist and visual artist from Syria collaborate on phase to check out the thought of ‘home’

Yoshiko Yap

Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh vividly remembers watching the 2011 rebellion in his homeland on Tv set from New York. The violent government reaction still left lots of useless and started a large exodus of refugees.

“I simply cannot describe the magnitude of that,” reported Azmeh, who grew to become an American citizen final yr. “I was not capable to generate for a calendar year. I continued to engage in — that’s how I spend my rent. But it seriously affected my innovative course of action.”

Azmeh broke his undesired hiatus by composing a single song, “A Sad Early morning, Each Early morning,” which he shared with his longtime good friend, visual artist Kevork Mourad.

Mourad, an Armenian-Syrian American, animated the track, which can be discovered on YouTube. “A Unhappy Morning” was the cornerstone of what became “Home Inside,” a special collaboration of songs and visible artwork designed live on stage.

La Jolla New music Modern society is bringing “Home Within” — a single of two Silkroad Ensemble tours this year — to the Baker-Baum Concert Hall at The Conrad Prebys Doing Arts Centre on Sunday, April 3.

In an strange structure, Azmeh and 5 other Silkroad musicians will execute as Mourad performs at an easel, with his drawings projected on the display screen behind them.

“Syria motivated ’Home Inside,’ but this challenge encourages investigating the greater thought of residence,” Azmeh stated, speaking from a tour end in Calgary, Canada. “Is residence the area you grew up and have recollections of? Or is it a put you’d like to contribute to?

“I’ve often stated Syria belongs to all of humanity. The activities in Ukraine, visually, there are similarities. Tragedies do repeat.”

Silkroad Ensemble member Kinan Azmeh performs on the clarinet.

Silkroad Ensemble member Kinan Azmeh performs on the clarinet.

(Piotr Poloczanski)

Deep thoughts

The Silkroad musicians accompanying Azmeh and Mourad are bassist Shawn Conley, cellist Karen Ouzounian, oud player Issam Rafea, percussionist Shane Shanahan and violinist Layale Chaker. Chaker and Azmeh are married and live in Brooklyn. They provide their 1-calendar year-previous son with them when on tour.

Azmeh stated it took about a yr for he and Mourad to construct the piece from the 3-1/2 moment “Sad Early morning.” Sections of the piece are improvised.

“I’m a collaborator,” claimed Azmeh, who on March 15 was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the Nationwide Council on the Arts. “Part of it is pushed by the clarinet, which is a single-line instrument. If I want to harmonize, I will need one more player.

“Music is special in that we can all converse and listen to every other at the same time. I did produce the songs for this but gave time for the musicians to provide their individual stories. Not just the musicians — Kevork will say something. I like to participate in with the fine line in between composer/ improviser.”

Azmeh, who executed in San Diego in 2019 with the string-quartet Brooklyn Rider, acknowledges that “Home Within” springs from a tragic predicament.

“It puts me back in deep thoughts each individual time we perform it,” he stated. “We hope it will open a window to look into a lot more. Our job to create art but also to document background.

“I hope another person in the viewers is from Ukraine. The live performance ends on an optimistic notice. I imagine we can rebuild one thing. Artwork can mend the human soul.”

What is Silkroad?

Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and visible artist Kevork Mourad are longtime customers of Silkroad Ensemble, the doing element of Silkroad, which was founded in 1998 by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He observed the heritage of the historic Silk Street trade route linking Asia and Europe as a product for exchanging strategies and innovations.

Silkroad has 4 tunes-oriented factors: Generation of new songs social effects initiatives, academic partnerships and the Silkroad Ensemble, a numerous collective that performs worldwide.

In 2017, Silkroad Ensemble received the Best Planet Music album Grammy Award for “Sing Me Home,” which options Azmeh as a clarinetist and composer.

“Silkroad is a collective of communicators who believe more substantial than on their own,” Azmeh mentioned. “Whether they enjoy, dance or do spoken word, they are all thinkers seeking to make feeling of the environment.”

La Jolla Music Culture offers Silkroad Ensemble: House Within just

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, April 3

Where: Baker-Baum Live performance Hall at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Middle, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla

Tickets: $36-$70

Mobile phone: (858) 459-3728

On line: ljms.org

Wood is a freelance writer

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