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Maeve Gilchrist featuring Aizuri Quartet & Kyle Sanna: The Harpweaver
July 5, 2022 | 7:00 pm
A Broyhill Chamber Series Event
Sponsored by McDonald’s of Boone
Maeve Gilchrist (harp, vocals)
Kyle Sanna (guitar)
Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa, Violins
Ayane Kozasa, Viola
Karen Ouzounian, Cello
Harpist and composer Maeve Gilchrist’s new offering The Harpweaver plays on the idea of artistic nostalgia. When we can’t be with those that we love, surely the next best thing is to experience the catharsis of familiar sounds; notes and words that bring a sense of connection, possibility and joy. Originally from Edinburgh, Gilchrist — a migrant musician — has been making her mark as a ground-breaking harpist on the streets of New York and Boston for for nearly two decades through her collaborations with The Silkroad Project, Nic Gareiss, Viktor Krauss, Ambrose Akinmusire, Darol Anger, Solas and Okkyung Lee. With The Harpweaver, Gilchrist steps into her own as a composer and producer and illuminates her roots as a traditional folk musician through the prism of luscious string parts, electronic manipulation and an archived recitation of “The Ballad of the Harpweaver,” by the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, a celebrity of Jazz-Age America.
“My first impression of Millay’s “The Ballad of the Harpweaver” was not of a tale of bleak circumstance, but of the power of maternal love and the symbiotic relationship between instrument and player,” reflects Maeve. The poem was from Millay’s 1923 Pulitzer award-winning collection. “I always loved hearing old-timers in New York referring to the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ worlds. It embodies the nostalgia and romance inherent in traditional Irish and Scottish music as reflected in this music. It calls to mind old music-hall melodies, memories that won’t dissipate, the spell-binding recitation of a beautiful woman.”
The Harpweaver is an invitation to suspend time and place and step into a richly imaginative world which may resonate notes of familiarity and comfort, regardless of cultural background.
In addition to “The Harpweaver” program, the Grammy-nominated Aizuri Quartet (who recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert accompanying Wilco in a performance of “Poor Places”) will bring a selection of their trademark exploratory repertoire juxtaposing the timeless old with strikingly new and exhilarating string compositions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046.
ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.
Free – Children 12 and younger with purchase of adult ticket
CHAMBER SERIES PACKAGE*: $100 (SAVE $20)
Includes Maeve Gilchrist featuring Aizuri String Quartet & Kyle Sanna: The Harpweaver, Hayes School of Music Faculty Chamber Players, Imani Winds, Rolston String Quartet
*(offer expires July 5)
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 | 7pm
Doors open at 6pm
ABOUT MAEVE GILCHRIST
harpist, singer, composer and producer
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity,” Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic (lever) harp to new levels of performance and visibility. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting. She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including the progressive folk quartet, DuoDuo (featuring percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, cellist Natalie Haas and Yann Falquet of Quebecois super-group Genticorum), a more electronics based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish Music Network-commissioned Edges of Light quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the ﬁddler Tola Custy. Maeve is also a member of the prestigious Silkroad Ensemble. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the historic opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Darol Anger and Kathy Mattea. In 2018 Maeve was a featured soloist on the Dreamworks blockbuster movie soundtrack, How to Tame Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Maeve was the ﬁrst lever harpist to be employed as an instructor by her alma mater, Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she taught for ﬁve years before switching to being a visiting artist in 2018. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music. She is also an in-demand composer and arranger, with past commissions including a ground-breaking concerto for lever harp and symphony orchestra co-written with North Carolina-based composer Luke Benton and most recently a new piece for harp and string quartet premiered at the Edinburgh International Harp festival last spring.
ABOUT AIZURI QUARTET
The Aizuri Quartet has established a unique position within today’s musical landscape, infusing all of their music-making with infectious energy, joy and warmth, cultivating curiosity in listeners, and inviting audiences into the concert experience through their innovative programming, and the depth and fire of their performances.
Praised by The Washington Post for “astounding” and “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition, along with top prizes at the 2017 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Japan and the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition in London. The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records to critical acclaim (“In a word, stunning” – I Care If You Listen), nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award, and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018.
The Aizuris view the string quartet as a living art and springboard for community, collaboration, curiosity and experimentation. At the core of their music-making is a virtuosic ability to illuminate a vast range of musical styles through their eclectic, engaging and thought-provoking programs. The Quartet has drawn praise both for bringing “a technical bravado and emotional power” to bold new commissions, and for its “flawless” (San Diego Union-Tribune) performances of the great works of the past.
Formed in 2012 and combining four distinctive musical personalities into a powerful collective, the Aizuri Quartet draws its name from “aizuri-e,” a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing that is noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail.
NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday: “Maeve Gilchrist’s New Album Features Heavenly Harp Music”
NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Celtic harpist Maeve Gilchrist about her new album, The Harpweaver. Listen HERE.
“Aizuri Quartet illuminates enterprising program at Chamber Music Columbus” — Sam Jacobson: November 15, 2021
“Bold Aizuri Leaps Across Eras with Quartet Ventures.” — Classical Voice North America, William Albright: January 30, 2020
“…Aizuri Quartet excels in every way, demonstrating brilliant musicianship throughout.” — Amanda Cook: December 21, 2018
“These limber and luminous performances by the Aizuri Quartet, in music written specifically for the group by young composers, proves that the 250-year-old string quartet formula remains vibrant and vital.” — Tom Huizenga: December 18, 2018
“The music and performance is, in a word, stunning… Aizuri Quartet’s recording debut immediately places them at the forefront of string quartets working in the contemporary idiom. Their ability to function as a perfectly unified ensemble while exploring every nook and cranny of a piece’s soundworld makes literally every moment of Blueprinting completely satisfying.” — Brianna Matzke: November 2, 2018