Cross-Cultural Friendships

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

On this episode of All Ears, Terrance McKnight explores cross-cultural friendships, and how exchanges beyond these boundaries have been showcased in music. Because New York is one of the largest melting pots in the world, sometimes it's easy for residents to identify with this, and other times take this idea for granted. Come along with us and meet some new friends on the show this weekend!

We start off with a triptych of pieces -- Golijov's Oceana: Call, Meredith Monk's Do You Be, and Bach's Prelude & Fugue No. 20 in A minor.  Three compositions mixing ethnicity and sound.

John Zorn, a difficult to classify composer, is heard in his Time Travel from the surrealist film, "The Last Supper." With voice and percussion, Zorn excels at expressing ethnic ritual with classical training.

A regular on the show, William Chapman Nyaho performs Joshua Uzoigwe's Talking Drums on piano. A native of Nigeria, Uzoigwe was an ethnomusicologist and composer who created pieces that incorporated traditional sounds of his homeland.

The string trio of violinist Aaron Berofsky, violist David Harding and cellist Tom Rosenberg bring to life Aaron Jay Kernis' Mozart en route (A Little Travel Music). A peer of John Adams, Kernis composed this modern tune in 1991. It seems to dart in and out of traditional Romanticism, Americana and perhaps some jazz. 

Join in the discussion:  What are your favorite cross-cultural friendships in music?


Osvaldo Golijov: Oceana: Call
Atlanta Symphny Orchestra/Atlanta Symphony Chorus
Robert Spano, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

Meredith Monk: Do You Be
Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble

Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude & Fugue No. 20 in A minor, BWV 889
Edward Aldwell, piano

John Zorn: Time Travel
Tzadik Label

Aaron Copland: From Sorcery to Science: The Chinese Medicine Man
Eos Orchestra
Jonathan Sheffer, conductor

Xian Xinghai: Yellow River Concerto
China Philharmonic Orchestra
Long Yu, conductor
Lang Lang, piano
Deutsche Grammophon

Joshua Uzoigwe: Talking Drums
William Chapman Nyaho, piano

Steve Reich: Music from Pieces of Wood
Steve Reich

Aaron Jay Kernis: Mozart en route (A Little Travel Music)
New Albion

John Lampkin: Migrations
Equinox Chamber Players

Edward K. (Duke) Ellington
City of Birmingham Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
London Symphony Orchestra
Pierre Boulez, conductor
Krystian Zimerman, piano
Deutsche Grammophon

Lou Harrison: Main Bersama-Sama
Gamelan Sekar Kembar
Scott L. Hartman, french horn

Comments [3]


couldn't find a place but thought that given your quip about gaza, this would probably be the most appropriate place. Gaza was under the jurisdiction of Egypt yet, Egypt never offered them full rights. Daniel's comments were inappropriate and your justification of such is also inappropriate. Your comments on the middle east is skewed and infers bias. Please bear in mind, just because some musician makes a comment that does not mean it deserves ear play for listeners. Daniel also subjected Jews in Israel to Wagner. A well documented anti semite adored by the hitler and the nazis. Your comments are inciting and misdirected.

Jun. 26 2012 07:54 PM

Christine, I'm so glad you've been catching the show. And thanks for the information.

Jun. 10 2012 01:33 AM
Christine Chiou from Taipei Taiwan, Maryland, USA

Hi Terrence:
As a Taiwanese American, I would like to add to your list for the Cross Cultural Friendships; I would like to recommend a recording of two CD sets by a Taiwanese Composer, Tyzen Hsiao Orchestral Music (2003), a two-disk set by Vakhtang Jordania and Russian Federal Orchestra with Moscow State Chorus. Includes Formosa Symphony, Violin Concerto (Alexander Trostiansky, soloist), Cello Concerto (Kiril Rodin, soloist), Piano Concerto (Anatoly Sheludyakov, soloist), tone poem Angel from Formosa, and 1947 Overture.

Hsiao is a Taiwanese composer of neo-Romantic school, he credits Rachmaninov, Bartók and Frédéric Chopin as important influences on his style, along with Presbyterian hymnody and, above all, Taiwanese folk music. His art song "Taiwan the Formosa" is considered the unofficial national anthem of Taiwan.

You mentioned that you don't have any Chinese friend and you are working on it, I guess you could use a Taiwanese friend as well:)

By the way, during Lunar New Year, you played a recording by Lang Lang playing "Spring Breeze", you misidentified it as a Chinese folk song. Spring Breeze is a traditional Taiwanese folk song dated back to 1930 when Taiwan was still a colony of Japan, it reads "Bāng Chhun-hong" in Taiwanese, for many overseas Taiwanese, it's a symbol of homeland.


Jun. 03 2012 03:15 AM

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