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Project Advisor 1
During these past four years, I have worked towards achieving greater integration of technique and musical intention. To this end, I have worked on improving my technical control of the violin while also developing more specificity in my interpretations. This recital represents my current stage of development in this regard. In conceptualizing this recital, I wanted a program that would demonstrate my abilities as a violinist, but more importantly tell some kind of narrative. The theme I ultimately settled upon was “Around the world in 50(ish) minutes” in which I would play one piece from each of the six populated continents. Academically speaking, I thought that this theme would demonstrate my versatility as a violinist and my ability to incorporate several different styles into my playing. Furthermore, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced me, and most other people around the world, to limit my traveling and stay in more or less the same place for over a year now. Through my music, I wanted to recapture some of the beauty of travel and, in a limited way, experience parts of other cultures from the government-sanctioned safety of Red Hook.
The events of the past year have also brought my attention to issues of race and colonialism in the United States. From the killing of Breonna Taylor, to the murder of George Floyd, to the forceful suppression of peaceful protests across the country, to the spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans, to the capital insurrection of January 6, and to the killing of 6 Asian women in Georgia, this year more than any other has forced my to reevaluate my future as an Asian American performing an art rooted in white European traditions. I wanted my music to be more than a celebration of white European male exceptionalism. In playing music from around the world from composers not as well known in the classical canon, I hoped this recital would be a good first step on my journey to develop a less Euro-centric approach to my instrument. To this end, I hoped that my recital would feature a healthy mix of more well known pieces such as Inverno from Piazzola’s Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, Zhanhao and Chang’s Butterfly lover’s concerto, and Tarrega’s Recuerdos del Alhambra, as well as the works of lesser known composers such as Margaret Sutherland, and Youssef Griess, and Jessie Montgomery. The eclectic nature of my program challenged me to develop more variety in my sound as well as explore different ways of approaching musical expression. This recital is not meant to be a show of technical virtuosity, but an expression of my relationship with music and the violin in the current moment
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Darakananda, Narain, "Around the World in 50(ish) Minutes" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 334.
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