Seattle, WA ‑ Early Music Seattle announces Constantinople and Marco Beasley will be performing a program titled Il Ponte di Leonardo on April 23 at 1:30pm in Town Hall Seattle.
Building musical bridges between traditions is at the very core of Constantinople. Constantinople is dedicated to pursuing the principle that guides them to explore music from today and from times long past, from here and from faraway places.
The bridge imagined by Leonardo da Vinci was the spark that ignited this musical program. The music of the two cultural spheres he sought to connect with this impressive work of architecture enters into dialogue here, creating a unique and expressive soundscape that brings the bridge he dreamed about to life.
Kiya Tabassian and Marco Beasley have made a careful selection of compositions – inspiring, musical, and poetic – from the time of Leonardo da Vinci. The foundation of the bridge is made up of pieces and poems taken from manuscripts and printed works of the era: from Italian frottole from the 15th and 16th century to Genovese songs, from Ottoman instrumental compositions to Persian poems by Hafez, Rumi and Amir Khosrow. They navigated between these works, defining their stylistic boundaries in order to find the passageways between them and to create a true encounter and dialogue which goes beyond a mere juxtaposition of repertoire.
And so, the bridge imagined and drawn over 500 years ago by the genius Leonardo da Vinci has now been redrawn and erected in music and song through the human and artistic encounter that took place between the eight musicians who contributed to this project. It is the hope that this bridge will be travelled and crossed many times by listening to this concert, and by the inhabitants of both shores, in all senses.
Kiya Tabassian. setar, voice & direction
Marco Beasley, voice
Fabio Accurso, lutes
Didem Basar, kanun
Tanya LaPerrière, violin & viola d’amore
Stefano Rocco, arichilute
Marco Ferrari, flutes
Patrick Graham, percussion
Constantinople which was founded over twenty years ago, is a musical ensemble that chose the journey—geographical certainly, but also historical, cultural and inner—as its cornerstone. It draws inspiration from all sources and aims for distant horizons. Inspired by the ancient city illuminating the East and West, Constantinople was founded in 2001 in Montreal by its artistic director, Kiya Tabassian.
Since its founding, the ensemble promotes the creation of new works incorporating musical elements of diverse musical traditions around the world, drawing from medieval manuscripts to a contemporary aesthetic, passing by Mediterranean Europe to Eastern traditions and New World Baroque.
About Kiya Tabassian
Setar virtuoso and acclaimed composer, Kiya Tabassian has carved out a privileged place on the international music scene with his ensemble Constantinople and as a soloist. With his celebrated cross-cultural musical encounters, he travels across the five continents to present his creations and his music on stages all over the world.
He has contributed to many eclectic projects as a composer, performer and improviser. To cite a few, he has collaborated with the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra, the CBC, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. He has actively participated in the international project MediMuses from 2002 to 2005, as a member of a research group on the history and the repertoire of Mediterranean music and acted as contributor to several publishing and recording projects. He also intervened in the Atlas ensemble (Netherlands) since 2009 and contributed to the Atlas Academy as a tutor, a double project aimed at conjoining contemporary music and oral traditions together.
About Marco Beasley
Born in 1957, Marco Beasley did musical studies at the University of Bologna where he deepened his knowledge of the two stylistic pivots of the late Renaissance – recitar cantando and sacred and secular polyphony. He thus began an active concert career which quickly took him to some of the most prestigious venues, from the Mozarteum in Salzburg to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome to the Lincoln Center in New York. In 1984, he cofounded Accordone together with Guido Morini and Stefano Rocco. Most recordings of his ample and wide-ranging discography are with this ensemble, which he chose to leave in 2014 in order to venture down an even more personal and independent path. His personal research into vocal production and the intelligibility of sung texts have earned him the praise of an ever-increasing public. In 2009, the Dutch VSCD (Association of Theater and Concert Halls) nominated him for Best Performer of the Year.
About Early Music Seattle
EMS is the area’s largest presenter of early music and related educational programs, with an annual operating budget of approximately $500k. Its mainstage events include Seattle Baroque Orchestra and internationally renowned touring artists at venues around the Puget Sound region including Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Seattle First Baptist Church, St. James Cathedral, Bastyr University Chapel, LANGSTON, Town Hall Seattle, and Federal Way Performing Arts Center. Its mission is to present outstanding early music, use early music to enrich cultural heritage via education and outreach, and engage new audiences through inclusivity and openness, as we enrich cultural life in the Pacific Northwest.
EMS is attempting something revolutionary in the early music field. Since 2014, we have consistently presented and supported music outside of the European art music traditions, covering offerings from Latin America, the Middle East, Far East, and Africa. We do this by bringing touring groups to Seattle that represent these cultural traditions, and more significantly, by funding local Global Majority artists to both participate in our concerts and create their own independent projects. This direct funding, done without imposing a white, Eurocentric agenda helps neglected artforms gain wider recognition and mainstream respect. The artistic reasoning behind this programming approach is to tell a bigger, more complex story of the vibrant cultural interactions that created the world’s great music traditions. This approach begins to right historical wrongs as it brings us closer to recognizing the real and whole truth of our shared humanity. Within this plan, the early music of Europe takes its proper place as one of many branches of the deep-seated cultural roots we all share.
Formed in 1977 as Early Music Guild, this season EMS celebrates its 45th anniversary. Programs include the Music for the Ages Series, Global Connections Series, and performances by Seattle Baroque Orchestra (SBO), and educational programs serving 2,400 students in Seattle Public Schools annually and more than 100 amateur musicians. Seattle Baroque Orchestra, EMS’s resident orchestra, was founded in 1994 by violinist Ingrid Matthews and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman, and quickly established itself as one of the most vibrant of the American early music ensembles. SBO performs four programs each season, and has toured North America, been featured extensively on National Public Radio, and garnered rave reviews for its six recordings, while winning loyal fans in Seattle for the excitement and intimacy of their live performances.
EMS’ one-of-a-kind concert experiences will turn everything you thought you knew about early music on its head, as we take you on musical journeys that explore new repertoire, challenge the limits of what you thought was possible, and find exciting ways to reimagine the classics.
In March, EMS was thrilled to announce that Ludovica Punzi was named as the new Executive Director. Constantinople and Marco Beasley: Il Ponte di Leonardo will be Ludovica’s first concert under her direction.
Early Music Seattle presents
CONSTANTINOPLE and MARCO BEASLEY
Il Ponte di Leonardo
Sunday, April 23 | 1:30pm
Town Hall Seattle | 1119 8th Ave, Seattle
– Event information: https://earlymusicseattle.org/event/constantinople-marco-beasley-le-pont-de-leonardo/
– Constantinople website: https://constantinople.ca/en/
– Marco Beasley website: https://www.marcobeasley.it/
– Early Music Seattle website: https://earlymusicseattle.org/