Silkroad clarinetist and visual artist from Syria collaborate on stage to investigate the thought of ‘home’

Ora Sawyers

Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh vividly remembers viewing the 2011 uprising in his homeland on Tv set from New York. The violent governing administration response left many dead and started a substantial exodus of refugees.

“I just cannot explain the magnitude of that,” explained Azmeh, who turned an American citizen very last yr. “I wasn’t capable to publish for a 12 months. I ongoing to engage in — that is how I pay out my rent. But it seriously affected my inventive approach.”

Azmeh broke his undesired hiatus by composing a single track, “A Unhappy Morning, Each Morning,” which he shared with his longtime close friend, visible artist Kevork Mourad.

Mourad, an Armenian-Syrian American, animated the music, which can be identified on YouTube. “A Sad Morning” was the cornerstone of what grew to become “Home In just,” a unique collaboration of songs and visible art established stay on phase.

La Jolla Songs Modern society is bringing “Home Within” — one of two Silkroad Ensemble tours this period — to the Baker-Baum Concert Corridor at The Conrad Prebys Executing Arts Center on Sunday, April 3.

In an unusual format, Azmeh and 5 other Silkroad musicians will accomplish as Mourad works at an easel, with his drawings projected on the display screen behind them.

“Syria impressed ’Home Inside,’ but this task encourages investigating the greater thought of home,” Azmeh claimed, talking from a tour prevent in Calgary, Canada. “Is house the location you grew up and have reminiscences of? Or is it a put you’d like to lead to?

“I’ve often explained Syria belongs to all of humanity. The events 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 participant Issam Rafea, percussionist Shane Shanahan and violinist Layale Chaker. Chaker and Azmeh are married and stay in Brooklyn. They bring their 1-12 months-previous son with them when on tour.

Azmeh said it took about a year for he and Mourad to develop the piece from the 3-1/2 minute “Sad Morning.” Sections of the piece are improvised.

“I’m a collaborator,” explained Azmeh, who on March 15 was verified by the U.S. Senate as a member of the National Council on the Arts. “Part of it is pushed by the clarinet, which is a solitary-line instrument. If I want to harmonize, I have to have another player.

“Music is exceptional in that we can all communicate and pay attention to each individual other at the exact time. I did publish the audio for this but gave time for the musicians to convey their very own tales. Not just the musicians — Kevork will say anything. I like to engage in with the good line concerning composer/ improviser.”

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

“It places me back in deep emotions just about every time we engage in it,” he spelled out. “We hope it will open a window to look into additional. Our work to produce artwork but also to doc background.

“I hope a person in the audience is from Ukraine. The live performance ends on an optimistic notice. I imagine we can rebuild a little something. Art can mend the human soul.”

What is Silkroad?

Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and visual artist Kevork Mourad are longtime members of Silkroad Ensemble, the carrying out component of Silkroad, which was established in 1998 by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He saw the historical past of the ancient Silk Street trade route linking Asia and Europe as a model for exchanging strategies and improvements.

Silkroad has 4 tunes-oriented elements: Generation of new audio social influence initiatives, educational partnerships and the Silkroad Ensemble, a assorted collective that performs throughout the world.

In 2017, Silkroad Ensemble gained the Ideal Planet New music album Grammy Award for “Sing Me House,” which characteristics Azmeh as a clarinetist and composer.

“Silkroad is a collective of communicators who imagine bigger than them selves,” Azmeh explained. “Whether they play, dance or do spoken phrase, they are all thinkers striving to make feeling of the planet.”

La Jolla Audio Modern society presents Silkroad Ensemble: Household Within

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, April 3

In which: Baker-Baum Live performance Hall at The Conrad Prebys Accomplishing Arts Heart, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla

Tickets: $36-$70

Cellular phone: (858) 459-3728

On the internet: ljms.org

Wood is a freelance author

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