Home Classical Music Amici Chamber Ensemble Co-Creative Director Serouj Kradjian Talks About Diasporic Bridges

Amici Chamber Ensemble Co-Creative Director Serouj Kradjian Talks About Diasporic Bridges

Amici Chamber Ensemble Co-Creative Director Serouj Kradjian Talks About Diasporic Bridges


Pianist and Amici Chamber Ensemble co-artistic director Serouj Kradjian (Photo courtesy of Amici)
Pianist and Amici Chamber Ensemble co-artistic director Serouj Kradjian (Photograph courtesy of Amici)

Co-artistic director of Amici Chamber Ensemble, composer of two of the items on this system, and pianist, you possibly can say Serouj Kradjian’s music apply is on the coronary heart of this system for the upcoming live performance titled Diasporic Bridges. It takes place April 28.

“Could I add on these duties, the truth that I’m directing the movie.”

Together with the remaining members of Amici, Joaquin Valdepeñas, clarinet, and David Hetherington, cello, performers for the live performance embody mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy, soprano Aline Morales, violinists Erika Raum and Tiffany Yeung, violists Barry Shiffman and Steven Dann, guitarist Rob MacDonald, and percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand

DIASPORIC BRIDGES: A celebration of Toronto’s cultural range

As an artist, Serouj blurs the boundaries between genres and cultural traditions, a central thread in this system, which incorporates music and an unique movie.

Music is the bridge that weaves traditions collectively to create one thing new. Toronto’s various multicultural communities function the inspiration for the live performance.

On this system:

  • Larysa Kuzmenko — Tetiana’s Journey to a New World
  • Christos Hatzis — Anaktoria
  • TJ Anderson — Shouts For Cello And Piano
  • Serouj Kradjian — Bachianas Bossa-Tangos
  • Gideon Klein — String Trio
  • Serouj Kradjian — Rondo Alla Libanesa
  • Alexina Louie — Bringing Down The Tiger From The Mountain
  • Paco de Lucia (arr. Kradjian) — Zyryab
  • Roberto Sierra — Songs From The Diaspora
  • Ana Sokolovic — Serbian Tango
  • Florence B. Value — Adoration
  • Antoine Gerin-Lajoie — Un Canadien Errant

The themes of cultures coming collectively as a musical group is one which Serouj has been growing for some time. “It has preoccupied me for a very long time,” he stated. “One factor that I do very effectively is mixing completely different types.”

With a background and schooling steeped in Western classical music, he views the repertoire as a part of a standard effectively of creativity, one with out borders to type or ethnicity.

“[There are] no borders between the several types of music that I’ve heard,” he says.

The items he’s composed that seem in this system are proof of his aesthetic. Bachianas Bossa-Tangos is predicated on the Bachianas Brasileiras suites by Villa-Lobos. “It’s often achieved with eight celli and the voice,” he notes. “I put the Bossa Nova twist to it, and the tango rhythm.”

Into it’s combined “a bit toccata and fugue by Bach”, and a vocalist singing what he’s calling gibberish, together with an accordion, and the tone is surprising and new. However, it’s background and pedigree don’t must be recognized prematurely. “In a means, I need to transmit this message, that you just don’t want to grasp the language so that you can really feel moved by the music that you just hear.”

The Rondo Alla Libanesa is predicated on the music of his childhood. Born in Lebanon into an Armenian household, he grew up throughout the civil conflict interval.

“There have been two issues which, as a child, made me neglect what was taking place exterior,” he says. “One was Mozart, and the opposite was Fairuz.” The latter was often known as the Queen of Lebanese music. He took one among her songs, and combined it with Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca — a late 18th century instance of style mixing.

“The combination grew to become Rondo Alla Libanesa.” Each types of music weave into one another, starting with Mozart’s classicism, then introducing Arabic melodies, rhythms, and harmonies. “It weaves each types.”

The Amici Chamber Ensemble: Serouj Kradjian, piano, Joaquin Valdepeñas, clarinet, and David Hetherington, cello (Photo courtesy of Amici)
The Amici Chamber Ensemble: Serouj Kradjian, piano, Joaquin Valdepeñas, clarinet, and David Hetherington, cello (Photograph courtesy of Amici)

The world of Western artwork music is not any stranger to the blurring of style boundaries, from Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony to Liszt and his Romani music. Madama Butterfly was lauded at its premiere for the affect of the far east. “It’s at all times been there. It’s stayed within the European custom […] however now we now have an opportunity to unfold our wings much more.”

There’s a duty to make use of genuine sources for inspiration, however Serouj rejects any requires strict adherence to traditions or methods. “I’m type of over that. My ardour is admittedly re-imagining and constructing bridges.”

The quick movie that can premiere on the live performance begins along with his personal expertise. “I’ve two identities, the Armenian one and the Lebanese one,” he says, “neither right here, nor there.”

As an immigrant to Canada, now a 3rd identification, he notes a preoccupation with preserving the traditions of the homeland alive. Music fills that want as one thing that may be transmitted from technology to technology. The movie explores these concepts, utilizing Toronto’s famously various neighbourhoods — Little Italy, Greektown, Chinatown, and so forth — as inspiration. He was additionally struck by the position of ladies in preserving traditions and tradition.

Larysa Kuzmenko’s piece Tetiana’s Journey to a New World is a private story in music. The brand new work is impressed by the tragedy that’s occurring in Ukraine, a couple of girl who escapes to Canada together with her youngsters. Kuzmenko is now a music trainer in Toronto. “It’s a journey to a brand new life,” he says. “It was wonderful to see that coming to life.”

Generally, mixing musical traditions entails some inventive thought. The sitar, in Indian music, comes from a practice of largely improvised music, in distinction with up to date classical music, which has nearly eradicated improvising. “He doesn’t learn Western notation, and I don’t learn Indian notation… that was a problem,” he says. Serouj discovered a means for it to work. “Give me your improvisation, and primarily based on the construction, I’ll write one thing down,” he recollects. “It was excellent, as a result of nobody relied on the opposite to react.”

Alexina Louie’s piece creates music primarily based on Chinese language Tai Chi strikes, with Ana Sokolovic’s Serbian Tango, and Adoration by Florence B. Value, incorporating African-American musical parts. Christos Hatzis Anaktoria makes use of lyrics primarily based on the phrases of Greek poet Sappho. There are Armenian songs, and a chunk concerning the displacement of the Acadians.

They arrive from completely different experiences — those that immigrated by alternative, vs. those that escaped a nasty state of affairs vs. Indigenous individuals who have been primarily displaced in their very own nation.

“The movie is about all these alternative ways of wanting on the diaspora.”

  • Discover extra details about the live performance on April 28, and tickets, [HERE].

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