Last night I nestled into the Children’s Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library – Light Street Branch surrounded by murals featuring Elmo and posters espousing, “Let the reading rumpus start!” Chatting with various Federal Hill neighbors and Peabody past and present, I prepared myself for an evening of music by composer, Judah Adashi.
Claire R. Mullins wrote an article for the April-May 2010 edition of SOBO Voice featuring Adashi and his “Evolution Contemporary Music Series.” The article ignited an idea over at the Light Street Branch. They asked Adashi to host a neighborhood concert of his music. As a Peabody professor, Adashi chose current students and alums to perform for the event. Kathryn Kilian (violin) and Georgi Videnov (marimba) opened the concert with Suite: Eight Haiku by Richard Wright (2001). Both played with strong technical skill. Another highlight of the evening was Aria (2009) played by Jacqueline Pollauf (harp.) Pollauf plays with transcendent ability. Her elegant communication of the musical phrase is truly satisfying to the ear. Adashi’s gift with sophisticated simple melodies and phrases make it seem as though the music just resonates out of the instruments. This says as much about Adashi’s music as it does for those playing so skillfully.
Mullins wrote in her article,
He defines ‘contemporary’ classical as music produced within the last twenty or so years that has drawn inspiration and influence from other musical genres—including rock, jazz and reggae—as well as life and place. The role of place is something he pondered this past season as he directed a concert series entitled Evolution Contemporary Music Series at An Die Musik on North Charles Street: does location matter? Does the national or cultural origin of music still have influence in our increasingly virtual world?
It is evident that Adashi is concerned with place given his skill with musical multicultural references such as Haiku and Flamenco. His music benefits from the 21st century loosening of compositional dogma and the welcoming of many styles and sounds – as if we’ve come to realize our own globalization in a handful of measures.
It is a joy to have those, such as Adashi and company, to provide musical experiences that make us think, celebrate, and feel – and only mere steps from our front doors.
- postpunk: Kraftwerk – Tanzmusik (1973) wellrespected: Ralf und… (sebaxxxtian.tumblr.com)
Judah Adashi says
Megan, my belated thanks for this very kind and thoughtful review! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday.