SAMSARA…the making of a New York Recital

Recently, I was asked to play a concert at a Buddhist museum on 17th Street (where the old Barney’s used to be). The Rubin Museum is a beautiful jewel box design, almost a mini-Guggenheim feeling inside with the collections wrapping each floor. As I walked through the collections with Tim McHenry, the producer of many interesting programs and collections perpetually changing there, he said it was like walking Dante’s Inferno. Just another typical day in Manhattan discussing philosophy and art….:) This is what I LOVE about Manhattan!!
I was so excited and fascinated as I had never been invited to look at a collection inside a museum and base my recital program on whatever I chose to focus my attention on. I am always thinking of different programs and themes for my recording projects and concerts but to look at the exhibits based on ‘nothingness’ and ‘what emptiness means in Buddhism’, was a really fun twist! Instead of thinking of programming an extended dance version of John Cage’s 4’33 , I started to think of life itself and how we all are born, live, love and eventually die. I needed to show this in 60 to 70 minutes though and came up with this program:

Bach’s ‘Air on G’ … I equate this to be our first breath of life.
John Corigliano ‘Lullaby for Natalie’. A world premiere by one of the greatest composers living today and written for baby Natalie born June 17th, 2010.
Astor Piazzolla (LOVE HIM!!!) ‘Milonga del Angel’. An absolutely sublime sexy tango where I want to showcase lust and sexual desire.
Fritz Kriesler ‘Liebesfreud’ or Love’s Joy and Liebeslied ‘Love’s Sorrow’, because we all lose love and experience love in some way.
Arvo Part ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ or Mirror in Mirror…sort of the mid-life crisis piece of the program and one where there is need for quiet reflection.
Somei Satoh ‘Birds in Warped Time II’…a beautiful piece where the rests or silences symbolize death and the notes, life.

I end with an incredible piece by Jakub Ciupinski, which will be the New York premiere entitled, ‘The Wreck of the Umbria’ for violin and electronics. I commissioned him to write this and it is a fascinating account of how he went on a deep-sea dive and discovered an old sunken boat from WWII. This symbolizes the afterlife and how we face our Creator alone. Sort of like me playing the solo violin part with my Creator. I can’t wait for Samsara and hope you will join me this January 30th……

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