Ensemble Pi Celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its Annual Peace Concert Series With "Music & Captivity"
Eleanor Cory: Rikers Island (World Premiere)
Frederic Rzewski: Attica
Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time
Excerpt from Joseph Assadourian’s theatrical piece, The Bullpen
October 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. @ The Sheen Center, NYC
The rise of mass incarceration and the racial disparities it reveals have become pressing issues today. For the 10th anniversary of its annual Peace Concerts series, the socially conscious music collective Ensemble Pi presents a program of contemporary chamber works written in response to imprisonment, its politics, and the emotional toil it takes on inmates.
The concert’s highlight is the world premiere of Rikers Island (2015) by veteran New York composer Eleanor Cory. Scored for clarinet, piano, cello, violin, and a narrator, the work draws mostly from the newly published These Are Hard Times for a Dreamer – the fruit of a two-year workshop at Rikers Island, led by NY Writers Coalition. Written by women inmates, the texts and poems mine with great pathos family tragedies and the pain of raising children while being incarcerated.
The program also includes Frederic Rzewski’s minimalist masterpiece, Attica (1972), composed in the wake of the 1971 upstate New York prison rebellion. Scored for narrator and open ensemble, the work is based on