Brooklyn Rider © Shervin Lainez

geannuleerd | Healing Modes

online concert: Brooklyn Rider speelt muziek die geneest en verbindt
  • Fri 23 Apr ’21
Vijf componisten laten hun licht schijnen op de genezende en verbindende kracht van muziek.

De oude Grieken tot aan moderne neurowetenschappers beschrijven de positieve effecten van muziek. Het langzame deel uit Beethoven Strijkkwartet nr. 15 wordt als uitgangspunt genomen voor deze kwaliteit.

De componisten vertellen over hun werk:

Caroline Shaw: Schisma (2018)

‘Schisma is a reference to the phrase "in the cleft of the rock," which appears in many scriptures including the Song of Solomon and Isaiah. In the Book of Exodus (33:22), there is a beautiful line which reads: I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. It is essentially a promise of safety, of a makeshift refuge within a crack in something as hard and unforgiving as mountain rock, until the danger has passed. It is a kind of nest, a home. I have always felt that Beethoven's Heiliger Dankgesang uses a nest-like architecture in a unique and profound way. The return of the dance-like Neue Kraft fühlend section always feels like a warm homecoming, a place of hope and shelter and deep comfort. The choice to title this piece with the modern Greek word "schisma"  (a translation of the Hebrew נִקְרַת, or "cleft") is a reference to the islands in today's Greece which have become harsh refugee camps for Syrians seeking asylum from the war. It also points to the nature of war, of the break between peoples, and of the search for hope and new growth within the breaks and crevices.’

Gabriela Lena Frank: Kanto Kechua #2 (2018)

‘In my early thirties, after receiving a devastating diagnosis of a life-threatening autoimmune disease, I paradoxically entered the most uniquely creative period of my life. Looking back, I believe I might have been grasping at what was most life-affirming to me, terrified of impending surgeries, radiation, drugs, and pain. Over several months, I composed hours of chamber music, wrote bilingual poetry and a fantasy novel of time-travel back to my ancestral homeland of pre-Conquest Perú, knitted and sewed, mastered the tarot and intricate origami, dove into the alchemy of homemade soaps and face creams, interned in bee-keeping, cultivated sourdoughs and learned to make cheese.

This was quite the prelude, bright and desperate both, to several years of treatment when most of my creative endeavors were muted. Now, a number of years later, scarred but healthy and working actively as a composer, I still carry around melodies born from that time; and in 2017, fashioned a quartet from this oddly luminescent wellspring into the first movement of Walkabout: Concerto for Orchestra, somewhat simplified for its symphonic weight.  When I was approached by the brilliant string quartet Brooklyn Rider for a work on the theme of healing, I found my chance to hear these ideas for the nimbler string quartet, my original conception. The result is Kanto Kechua #2 (“Quechua Song” with Quechua being the dominant language of post-Inca Perú) now with all of its ornamental intricacies and string-crossing whirls under an achingly high if brief violin line. Throughout, motifs from native Andean folk music proliferate.

I’m exceedingly grateful to be able to, at long last, bring this music to life as I step now in wellness and creative abundance.‘

Matana Roberts: Borderlands (2018)

Borderlands is built around historical data about the US-Mexico border crisis and the problems that have ensued with the more recent archaic American immigration policies. I decided to focus on a type of healing that is about healing cultural rifts, healing ideas of difference, healing through remembering history, healing by highlighting the protection of rights that should be afforded to every human, regardless of where they may come from. This used to be in the spirit of what it means to be American (to me). What is going on right now is not American. It’s a sham and a shame. We can do better....’

Reena Esmail: Zeher (Poison)

‘In September 2018, I developed an infection in my throat that wouldn't subside. For two weeks, it became increasingly difficult to swallow, to breathe and especially to speak. During this time of intense, painful silence, I thought about what this loss of voice represented for me. Of how many times in my life I had been rendered voiceless - either by others or by my own doing. Healing, in this case, was not about enduring the pain, but about releasing the poison I have always swallowed that didn't belong to me. It was only when I felt myself begin to release that poisonous energy that I felt the physical infection begin to subside.

This piece was conceived during those dark weeks, and is simply about that release. It uses two incredibly beautiful Hindustani raags: the dark and mysterious Todi and the mournful Bhimpalas. While working on this piece, I was also working on a setting of a beautiful Hafiz poem which ends "When the violin can forgive / every hurt caused by others / the heart starts singing." That is very much the spirit of this piece, too.’

Du Yun:         i am my own achilles' heel,

                        a form that would never shape

‘I am always fascinated by a fantastical world that lies in a reality,  a liminal state that lies at the edge of half-fantastical, half-hallucination. Years go by, I am told this could be a condition and there is a term for this condition; it is the world of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

According to the medical journal, although the cause of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is unknown, the condition typically accompanies episodes of migraines. Affected individuals report feeling that different parts of their body are disproportionate in size and proximity and that their overall surroundings are "warped." Specifically, these patients perceive objects as larger or smaller than they really are, thereby earning the syndrome its characteristic name.

In many parts of the world, mental health is still considered a taboo in society. To share a piece of music is to say that we might all have fascinations, some real and some really out there, you and I, us without them. Let's share, let's talk about it, let's help each other out. I am here for you, and you for me.’

Brooklyn Rider © Shervin Lainez


Roberts Borderlands (Nederlandse première)
Esmail Zeher (Nederlandse première)
Lena Frank Kanto Kechua #2 (Nederlandse première)
Du Yun
i am my own achilles' heel (Nederlandse première)
Shaw Schisma (Nederlandse première)
Beethoven Strijkkwartet nr. 15 in a, op. 132 (selectie)


Brooklyn Rider


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