“The communicative power of music to tell stories and paint sonic landscapes within the imagination of the mind is something I embrace. Music has the force to move, and I am always thinking about narrative and what story Iʻm trying to tell, whether it is before, during or after composing. Now more than ever, it is vital for me to create and to use music to tell the stories of our time, to build connections and relationships that have never been and to strengthen those in place by creating partnerships that reach the communities in which one lives. And so, in my music today, I always strive to channel in part, the history, people, themes and issues of my Hawaiʻi home.” Read more.
Akshaya Avril Tucker
“While composing (or creating), we find a door to universal consciousness. We open it through personal rituals: feeding blades of grass into a toaster, or grinding rubber against rose water to form a duplicate sun.” Read more.
“Recently, I got to work with the National Theater of Korea where I wrote a piece for a Korean traditional orchestra. It was probably the most challenging piece I had to write so far because of my lack of understanding of the instruments, but by writing this work, I learned so much about Korean music. I am hoping to merge these two worlds: Where I come from and where I have lived… I also feel very powerful to be a composer because I feel that I have control over the concept of time. In so many cases, I feel chased by the time — I am always running out of time for everything. But within my work, I get to show how I perceive ten minutes or an hour.” Read more.
“As an Iranian-Canadian living in a time of extreme political sensitivity, I see it upon myself to foster better dialogue and raise cultural awareness among various ethnic groups with which I am associated. I consider myself an activist, and am interested in writing and studying music that engages with the human rights and environmental issues of our time… I’d like to view myself as a cultural ambassador, able to show that the East and the West, however much different, can meet in a great work of art.” Read more.
“Growing up in New Mexico, I played traditional rancheras with my grandfather. Most people who know me can attest that I rarely make it through the day without referencing green chile, telling stories about my grandparents or family, finding any excuse to speak or read Spanish. I’m enamored with the culture of New Mexico and am very proud that my family has been there for hundreds of years, [with a] history that is just as intertwined with Iberians as it is with the Pueblo city-states that preceded their arrival… I’m also a jazz musician and a lover of dramatic forms of music like opera.” Read more.
“Rhythm is my primary medium of creativity, as a percussionist, improviser, and composer. Rhythm can encompass all aspects of earthly temporal experience: anticipation, simultaneity, serendipity, déja-vu, groove. I am especially drawn to understanding rhythm cross-culturally in its manifestations in South Asian and Afro-diasporic musical and choreographic processes… In my view, rhythm, at its core, springs from the desire for alignment among bodies.” Read more.
“Creating music, no matter the form or medium, has always been my youthful pastime; and I’ve been lucky to make a career doing it. You’ve got to be strong in this field; not settling for less, compromising your work or worth. The marriage between art and business is when the trouble starts, and I’ve learned early on that to make it in this field, you must persevere no matter what. Don’t get caught up in the madness of vogue techniques, copying a style made popular by someone else. Build your brand. Decode the games being played upon us by false-empowering systems, and don’t get discouraged when you or a work you’ve composed doesn’t receive recognition. Honor yourself and your work first. Choosing to become a composer doesn’t require anyone’s approval or acceptance; you merely start doing it. Be the composer you wish to be and write the music that you wish to hear.” Read more.
“I want my music to be fun – fun to make, to listen to, and to perform – and I believe that artists can take their art seriously without having to make art that is completely serious. Humor plays an integral part in what I do, not just because I love to laugh, but because I believe that humor can amplify other emotions.” Read more.
“I listen to music of other composers, it captivates me, I listen again (obsessively again and again), I might transcribe, learn to play, read about the methods the composer used, study, try and emulate, fail to use another’s method to make my own music, but somewhere lessons are learned, ideas are left resonating… Another interest is food and sustainable farming. Through this work I became friends with many farmers and farm workers… [Even] after the guitar started bringing in more money, I still work once a week with a farmer who has excellent growing practices.” Read more.
“I love that music is able to communicate such a huge range of ideas, from raw emotions to narratives and images. My focus is mainly on gestures and textures; when I compose, I think of myself as painting with sound. I write music about the things in life that interest me the most, and hope that the listener experiences the same kind of awe or excitement or curiosity that I feel when ruminating on wide-ranging topics, from astronomy to particle physics, linguistics, mythological stories, meteorology, M.C. Escher prints, or anything that piques my interest on any given day.” Read more.
Equally at home in an orchestra or in a jazz club, it is the goal of Boston-based harpist Charles Overton, regardless of the genre of music, to create a musical environment that is accessible, exciting and can resonate deeply with any audience. Read more.
Named a “one-woman dynamo” by The Boston Globe and Boston’s Best 2018 “Creative Catalyst” by The Improper Bostonian, Maria Finkelmeier is a percussionist, composer, public artist, educator, and arts entrepreneur. Read more.
Taiwanese-born pianist Gloria Chien has a diverse musical life as a noted performer, concert presenter, and educator. She was selected by the Boston Globe as one of its Superior Pianists of the year. She is an artist-in-residence at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee and is a Steinway Artist. Read more.
Leo Eguchi has been described as “copiously skilled and confident” (New York Times) with performances that were “ravishing” (New Bedford Standard-Times) and “played with passion and vitality” (Boston Music Intellegencer). Read more.
Shaw Pong Liu
Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liu engages diverse communities through multidisciplinary collaborations, creative music and social dialogue. Read more.