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May 31, 2019

AVAILABLE NOW! Five new string quartets from Kronos’ Fifty for the Future

Today, we released the scores and parts, recordings and other learning materials for the next five Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire string quartets, composed by Guillermo Galindo, Zakir Hussain, Jlin, Lu Yun, and Mario Galeano Toro. Download the scores and parts and explore more materials here, and listen to the five new works below:

Learn more about these works below:

Colombian musician, researcher and composer Mario Galeano Toro’s Tolo Midi is described by the composer as “influenced by the rhythmic and melodic universe of Cumbia, a musical style born in the Colombian Caribbean as a result of the encounter between indigenous American, African and European people. It is a rhythmic piece that wants to give the interpreter an immersion into syncopation and the fundamental legacy of Africa in America, while exploring native melodic phrasing from the Tolo, one of the names of the indigenous flutes that provided the melodic identity for Cumbia.” For more than 15 years, Galeano Toro has researched Colombian tropical music and its diaspora, a passion that has fueled his musical projects Frente Cumbiero, Los Pirañas and Ondatrópica, as well as his career as a university teacher of music history.

San Francisco Bay Area–based experimental composer, sonic architect and performance artist Guillermo Galindo’s Remote Control is a work for string quartet, media and audience participation. The live string quartet music is intended to be performed with audience members using their mobile devices to stream stroboscopic videos that include sound collages of war operation dialogue, interviews with refugee children, video gameplay recordings and other audio. According to Galindo, Remote Control explores the “digital technologies [that] have changed the way we interact with and perceive our environment, how we conceive of time and space and how we relate to people and nature,” specifically through the alternative reality of video war games. Galindo is a senior adjunct professor at the California College of Arts. His recent artistic work includes “cyber-totemic” sculptural instruments made from immigrants’ belongings and other objects found at the Mexico/US border, which has become a larger collaboration with photographer Richard Misrach called Border Cantos.

Percussionist and composer Zakir Hussain composed Pallavi for string quartet, tabla and drone. Reena Esmail arranged the work, the title of which is the ancient Carnatic word for composition. Hussain says that “the piece as written follows the prescribed format of the ancient Pallavi in which there is first Pallavi, then Anu Pallavi followed by Charnam (there is another section known as Chittaswaran, which is not being explored here). In this piece, the departure from the system is that, unlike the traditional Pallavi based in one raga, I have used four different ragas and tried to find a way to give each instrument its own personality with a raga assigned just for it.” Hussain is a renowned and prolific musician, performing in such projects as Shakti, Masters of Percussion, Sangam and Silkroad, as well as his trio with Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer and work with Herbie Hancock’s quartet.

Indiana-based electronic musician Jlin composed Little Black Book, which has been arranged for string quartet and kick drum by Jacob Garchik. She writes of the piece, “I chose the name Little Black Book because there is a black notebook that I own that I literally write down every creative idea I have in it. It is my book of absolute freedom… When Kronos approached me about doing this project I was quite ecstatic and immediately knew I wanted to take this on from a perspective of absolute freedom of sound. I didn’t care how crazy it sounded, I just wanted the instruments and choice of instruments to be free. Freedom was my goal.” First appearing on Planet Mu’s second Bangs & Works compilation, Jlin has released full-length albums Dark Energy (2015) and Black Origami (2017). In 2017, Jlin composed music for choreographer Wayne McGregor’s DNA-inspired dance piece Autobiography.

Taiwanese composer Lu Yun composed Temples in Taiwan, about which she says, “Taoism, Buddhism and local beliefs are the most popular religious beliefs in Taiwan and often these divine Gods and Goddesses of different faiths will ‘live’ in the same temple. This is one of the interesting features of Taiwan’s religious culture. This work is inspired by the memory I shared with Kronos’ David Harrington during our trip to Longshan Temple in 2010.” Currently an assistant professor at the Department of Chinese Music of Tainan National University of the Arts, Lu Yun has received numerous awards for her compositions for Chinese orchestra.

These five Kronos’ Fifty for the Future works and their supporting materials were released during Kronos Festival 2019, which took place May 30–June 1, 2019, at SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco. The Kronos Festival is produced by KPAA and is part of the San Francisco–based 501(c)3 nonprofit’s KRONOS PRESENTS program.

Kronos Performing Arts Association’s Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire is made possible by a group of adventurous partners and funders, including Carnegie Hall, who is also the initiative’s Lead Partner, Andrea Abernethy Lunsford, the National Endowment for the Arts, Marjorie Randolph, Peggy Dorfman & the Ralph I. Dorfman Family Fund, Mai Family Foundation, Ann Hatch – Tin Man Fund, David and Evelyne Lennette, Gottfried and Janet Tittiger and many others. A complete listing of funders may be found here.

KPAA also acknowledges the generous support of Kronos’ Fifty for the Future Legacy Partners: Aga Khan Music Initiative, The Arts Center at New York University Abu Dhabi, Cal Performances / University of California, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Cornish College of the Arts, Holland Festival, Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Oakland School for the Arts, The Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase, ProQuartet Centre Européen de Musique de Chambre, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Serious / Barbican, Texas Performing Arts Association at the University of Texas at Austin and Washington Performing Arts.

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