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Inside Spaces at PS21 in Chatham

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Amir ElSaffar and Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch - SOUKIZY
  • Soukizy
  • Amir ElSaffar and Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch
PS21 in Chatham is one of the Hudson Valley’s leading spots when it comes to forward-thinking art and performance venues. A fine illustration as to why is Inside Spaces, a new electro-acoustic collaboration by musicians Amir ElSaffar and Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch that will get its preview premiere at the Columbia County center on October 30.

Inside Spaces blends microtonal harmonies, maqam (melodic modes that are unique to Arabic music), and jazz improvisation in a modular marvel of cross-cultural music-making. The work, which was composed by ElSaffar (trumpet, santur, vocals) and Bianchi-Hoesch (electronics), “explores electroacoustics and microtonality that embraces multiple musical languages to create a sonic environment that draws on the richness, complexity, and idiomatic expression of jazz, contemporary classical music, maqam, raga, and other musical backgrounds, without compromise or oversimplification.”

ElSaffar has employed the subtle microtones of maqam to create a unique approach to harmony and melody. He has received commissions to compose for large and small jazz ensembles, traditional Middle Eastern ensembles, chamber orchestras, string quartets, contemporary music ensembles, and dance troupes. Bianchi-Hoesch has received commissions and artistic residencies from the IRCAM-Centre Pompidou (where he is an Associate Artist), Musical Research Group (GRM), Venice Biennale, Gothenburg Opera, Ballet National de Marseille, RhurTriennale, Royaumont Foundation, Ater Foundation Ballet, and many others, and has performed all over the world.

A preview premiere of Amir ElSaffar and Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch’s Inside Spaces will take place at PS21 in Chatham on October 30 at 7pm. Tickets are $10-$25. (A free workshop led by the musicians will take place from 4:30-6pm.)

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