The concept of consonance/dissonance, much like anything in life that represents two opposing forces, translates universally into any human experience. It is particularly relevant in turbulent political times when these opposing forces confront one another.
Out of a desire to do good in the world and specifically in our current social and political climate, a group of friends and colleagues has joined forces to present “Consonance/Dissonance: A chamber music concert in support of the ACLU of Southern California.” Consonance and dissonance are basic tools through which we can understand the concept of tension and release in music. Traditional classical music is clearly organized around sequences of consonances and dissonances; however in contemporary music, these methods of definition are less relevant as the boundaries between the two dissipate.
Composers Shostakovich, Roustom, Golijov, and Villa Lobos all took from the tradition of their countries of origin, yet were able to formulate new musical conclusions deeming the traditional constructs through which we typically understand music (consonance and dissonance) irrelevant. It is their music that forms the foundation of our concert as we discuss, through music, the struggle
surrounding identity and freedom.
Movements from Palestrina’s “Ecce Sacerdos Magnus,” woven throughout the program, provide a
palate cleanser between the more contemporary pieces, allowing the audience to find consonance and serenity for a few moments. A painting exhibit by Guy Walker, who has created a theme-specific series of pieces for this occasion, accompanies the performance.
The concert has been organized by pianist Karolina Rojahn, violinist Maiani da Silva, and soprano, Kala Maxym, friends from their time together at the Boston Conservatory, and the instrumental ensemble also includes Sergio Coelho, clarinet, Nicholas Deyoe, guitar Ben Powell, violin, Diana Wade, viola, and Anne Suda, cello. The vocal quartet is comprised of sopranos Amy Lawrence, tenor Bradley Chapman, and baritone Jonathan Nussman.