An Evening with Silkroad featuring Home Within
Thursday, September 20, 2018
7:30 pm | Seelos Theater
Followed by an onstage Q & A and "Meet the Artists" reception in Seelos Lobby
Kinan Azmeh, composer, clarinetist Kevork Mourad, live illustrations
Shane Shanahan, percussion Hadi Eldebek, oud
Danny Mekonnen, saxophone Mazz Swift, violin
This evening marks the start of the second year of Silkroad's residency at the College, a three-year exploration of curiosity, difference, and the arts. At the center of this presentation is Home Within, an audio-visual performance originally conceived by Silkroad artists Kinan Azmeh and Kevork Mourad. Kinan, a composer and clarinetist from Damascus, Syria, and Kevork, a visual artist born in Kamechli, Syria, create and impressionistic reflection on the Syrian revolution and its aftermath. Rather than follow a narrative, the artists document specific moments in Syria's recent history, using the counterpoint between image and sound to establish an abstract, emotional accounting of home in a time of conflict.
About the Silkroad Ensemble
Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998 as a reminder that even as rapid globalization resulted in division, it brought extraordinary possibilities for working together. Seeking to understand this dynamic, he began to learn about the historical Silk Road, recognizing in it a model for productive cultural collaboration, for the exchange of ideas and tradition alongside commerce and innovation. And in a radical experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to co-create a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world. Today, these Grammy Award-winning artists seek and practice radical cultural collaboration in many forms, creating and presenting new music, teacher and musician training workshops, and residency programs in schools, museums, and communities. More »
Trained in his native Damascus and a graduate of New York's Juilliard School and the City University of New York, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh has won international acclaim as a composer, performer, improviser, and recording artist in a wide range of musical genres. His discography includes three albums with his ensemble HEWAR; soundtracks for film and dance; a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne; and an album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet. Azmeh also champions the contemporary music of Syria as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble.
Kevork Mourad was born in Kamechli, Syria. Of Armenian origin, he received an MFA from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and lives and works in New York. His projects include the Cirène project with members of Brooklyn Rider at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the multimedia play Lost Spring ('15) with Anaïs Alexandra Tekerian at MuCEM, Gilgamesh ('03) and Home Within ('13) with Kinan Azmeh in Damascus and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Lembit Beecher's I Have No Stories to Tell You, commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, Master Peter's Puppet Show ('15) with The Knights at Tanglewood, and Barbed Wire (2015) with Issam Rafea, commissioned by The Space, UK.
Percussionist, composer, and arranger Shane Shanahan has combined his studies of drumming traditions from around the world with his background in jazz, rock, and Western art music to create a unique, highly sought after style. He is one of Silkroad's inaugural co-artistic directors, and has performed with Bobby McFerrin, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Chaka Khan, and Deep Purple, among others, and has appeared at the White House, playing for President and First Lady Obama.
Listen & Watch
Kinan Azmeh and Yo-Yo Ma: Art in a Time of Crisis
CNN: World musician caught up in Trump's Travel Ban
Behind the Scenes: The paintings of Kevork Mourad in "Layers We Are"
NPR: Kinan Azmeh Brings the Magic of Music to Summer Camp for Refugee Children
Reuters: War gives sense of urgency to collaboration between two Syrian artists