The Baktun 14 Project

by William F Eddins


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HEAR Projects is an artist led co-operative recording venture formed to discover new ways to produce, market, and promote chamber music through innovative use of recordings, media and networking. This concert will feature three outstanding ensembles from the Twin Cities, a world premiere by the award winning composer Stephen Paulus, and the release of the first HEAR Projects CD. I will be a featured performer on the program, and for the first time I will act as impresario for a major internationally broadcast event.

Three major works will be performed on this unique concert/broadcast: 1) Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time - written and premiered in 1941 while the composer was interned at the Görlitz concentration camp, this is universally recognized as one of the greatest works of the classical music literature; 2) Stephen Paulus’ Trio, commissioned for the Mitali Trio, and on this concert/broadcast receiving its world premiere performance; and 3) Fred Sturm’s Terra Madre, originally written for Bobby McFerrin, and here being heard live on the radio in an arrangement by Saxophonist David Milne for Jazz Quartet and String Quartet.

The concert will take place on a day of rare conjunction - the Winter Solstice and the end of the thirteenth and last b’ak’tun of the Mayan long-count calendar. The concepts of time ending and rebirth are strong elements of the works chosen for this broadcast/concert. Messiaen’s title and the structure of the work are based upon the Biblical apocalypse outlined in the Book of Revelations. Terra Madre is a musical plea for world unity that celebrates both the diversity and shared influences of indigenous music from nine different countries, with works dating back to the 13th century joined together in a contemporary chamber music setting. The Paulus Trio is a personal work commissioned in memory of Steven and Nancy Gerth, the parents of Mitali Clarinetist Jennifer Gerth.

Perched high above the Mississippi River just east of downtown Minneapolis, the Frank Gehry designed Weisman Art Museum is one of the most visually stunning buildings in the upper Midwest. This concert/broadcast will be the public launch of HEAR Projects and will feature the release of the first HEAR Projects CD, featuring the Mitali Trio.

I am asking for $7,000 from the USA Projects community to help fund this unique event. These funds will be used to offset the cost of renting the Weisman, the piano, and to ensure the level of internet access necessary for MPR to broadcast the event. Any overfunding would go directly towards underwriting future recording projects for deserving musicians. Thanks for your support. All funds go to Help Empower Artists Recordings!