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Deepening the Silence Within: Music for a New Humanity

June 18, 2017


Island Consort is tremendously excited to announce a new annual festival promoting contemporary composition: New Music on the Rock will launch in 2017 on June 18th at Whidbey Institute’s Thomas Berry Hall.

Schedule of events: 

  • 2 pm concert featuring area composers Huck Hodge, Neil Welch, Kit Mills, and a special performance by Stuart Dempster
  • 4 pm composer’s forum, free and open to the public, featuring a panel discussion: why new music? What is the relationship of creativity, culture, and hope for humanity?
  • 6 pm wine reception on the lawn
  • 7 pm works by composer-in-residence Jerry Mader
  • 2 pm and 7 pm performances include the movement of silence with eurythmist Maiko Canard.

This first year will feature an afternoon concert beginning at 2 pm on the Land and leading into the Hall, with works by area composers Neil Welch, Huck Hodge, and Kit Mills, and will include eurythmy performances by Maiko Canard. Following the afternoon concert will be a Composers’ Forum (open to the public) in which we will explore the themes of humanity and the creative spark, the role of silence in the process of creation and in listening, the relevance of new music and more. In the evening we will present a concert of works by Whidbey Composer Jerry Mader*—our  Composer-in-Residence for this first New Music festival. That 7 pm program features an oboe quintet, a piano quintet and a set of three vocal motets. Price is $20 per performance, or $35 for both the 2 and 7 pm performances.

“When I am silent I fall into the place where everything is music.” ~Rumi

Entitled Deepening the Silence Within: Music for a New Humanity this 2017 launch festival examines themes of sourcing the creative flow from within, of honoring the land that sustains us (It is no accident that we will be holding these concerts on the precious Chinook land and in lovely Thomas Berry Hall!), how silence and stillness holds the center of truth and beauty in the midst of a chaotic world. Further, we honor the ways in which music—and all the creative arts—can bring us together in our common humanity, especially when conflict rages on the world stage. We will first come together on the land just outside of Thomas Berry Hall, where musicians and movement will call us to the center of ourselves, and to the center of stillness between us. Maiko Canard in her movement exploration of the many kinds of silence will lead us into the hall, deeper inward as we then receive the music that ensues into our consciousness.

Excerpted from Island Consort’s “As the founder and Artistic Director of Island Consort and our New Music on the Rock series—I am thrilled to be launching this festival at this juncture in our collective personal, political and artistic lives. It feels so very important, first, to honor the role of the arts—in this case, music—in creating and sustaining the human collective. Every culture has music, has art. When we ignore the arts, stifle the creative impulse that lies at the heart of what it means to be human, we suppress the vitality of our communal life and our cultural and I would say, ultimately spiritual expression of humanity. We NEED to hear our poets and prophets, embrace our artists and musicians—lean forward into the artistry of being alive in this time and in this place. It is important, too, that we not only honor our musical traditions from time the past (of COURSE we want to play Bach forever!) but also look to NOW, meet the composers and thinkers and philosophers and creators of today who are in immediate response to this very moment. They, too, lead us to our Selves. I chose this year’s theme, Deepening the Silence Within: Music for a New Humanity out of my profound belief that music arises out of the deep silence of whatever it is that IS, that breathes worlds into being, that opens hearts and connects us.”

“From pure sensation to the intuition of beauty, from pleasure and pain to love and the mystical ecstasy and death — all the things that are fundamental, all the things that, to the human spirit, are most profoundly significant, can only be experienced, not expressed. The rest is always and everywhere silence.

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

~Aldous Huxley, The Rest is Silence



June 18, 2017


Island Consort


Thomas Berry Hall
6449 Old Pietila Road
Clinton, WA 98236 United States
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