The return of The Tune In Festival features more than 30 artists and ensembles over four days, coming together to pay respect to the time-honored tradition of music and poetry as sources of resilience, protest and inspiration. Curated by performance poet J. Ivy and pianist Lisa Kaplan in close collaboration with CAP UCLA Creative Advisor Kristy Edmunds. Day Three of the festival features the work of Tarrey Torae, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Eighth Blackbird performing a piece by Jonathan Bailey Holland and Anzû Quartet performing a piece by Olivier Messiaen.
Chicago-bred, but southern at heart, Tarrey Torae’s melodic presence springs from the crossroads of city living, southern geniality, essential womanhood and passionate soul. No amateur to music, Tarrey is a six-time Apollo winner and has appeared on two GRAMMY Award-winning albums, working with Kanye West on The College Dropout and John Legend on Get Lifted. Torae's soulful and distinctive voice will take you on a journey to honest impassioned places, wrapped in stirring and touching moments. She is sure to nostalgically remind you of raw and deep feelings. The strength of her voice softens the heart for more human connection and vulnerability.
"It's Midnight Already"
A poet, movement worker and educator, Tongo Eisen-Martin was born in San Francisco, California. He is the author of Someone's Dead Already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award, and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights Publishers, 2017), which received the California Book Award and an American Book Award. His curriculum on the extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again!, is used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country.
In January 2021 he was named San Francisco's Poet Laureate, with Mayor London Breed praising the timeliness of his “work on racial justice and equity, along with his commitment to promoting social and cultural change...". Eisen-Martin is also the co-founder of Black Freighter Press, a small press publishing Black and brown poets. He hopes to “capture a sliver of the means of cultural production—to create a part of what can be a people’s power structure.”
"The Clarity of Cold Air"
By Jonathan Bailey Holland
Filmed in Chicago (8/18-20/2021)
Jonathan Bailey Holland’s composition "The Clarity of Cold Air" perfectly captures the feel of the thoughtful hike through frosty topography suggested by its title. Close your eyes and you can almost see the delicate icicles hanging from branches and the fresh powder snow. Eighth Blackbird percussionist and Artistic Director Matthew Duvall describes the work as “a landscape sonification. For us, the clarity referenced by Holland manifests the transparency created by fragile sounds. Every detail hangs in the air. A suspended, frozen space where nothing is hidden and everything is reflected.”
A native of Flint, MI, Holland’s works have been commissioned and performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles across America, including the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras. He is Chair of Composition, Contemporary Music, and Core Studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He is also Founding Faculty of the Music Composition program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
"Quartet for the End of Time"
By Olivier Messiaen
Visuals designed by Xuan
Recorded at and Presented in Association with Roulette, Brooklyn
“On January 15th, 1941, in a prisoner-of-war camp in Görlitz, Germany, hundreds gathered in a freezing hut to listen to the first performance of “Quatuor pour la fin du temps” (Quartet for the End of Time). Messiaen said, ‘Never have I been listened to with such attention and such understanding.’ This visual interpretation is an imagining of how the prisoners might have felt and experienced that night during the premiere of this magnificent work.” - Xuan
The Anzû Quartet performs Olivier Messiaen’s (1908-1992) “Quatuor pour la fin du temps,” the towering masterpiece of the 20th century famously composed and premiered in the Stalag VIIIA Prisoner of War Camp in 1941. The quartet, inspired by the Book of Revelation, birdsong, and Messiaen’s experience of synesthesia, reflects the juxtaposing themes of immeasurable destruction, religious salvation, hope, and devastation. The Anzû Quartet is dedicated to performing this work as well as to cultivating and commissioning a new repertoire to complement and expand upon this instrumentation.
Formed in 2020, the Anzû Quartet (Olivia De Prato [violin], Ashley Bathgate [cello], Ken Thomson [clarinet] and Karl Larson [piano]) is an ensemble dedicated to the music of our time and the recent canon. A collaboration between internationally renowned performers of contemporary music, this new quartet pays homage to Olivier Messiaen’s "Quatuor pour la fin du temps" by actively commissioning and performing new works for this iconic instrumentation alongside Messiaen’s original masterpiece. Anzû Quartet’s first performance season in 2021 finds the ensemble in New York, Berlin, and Croatia, along with a digital premiere at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.
The name Anzû refers to a massive, fire and water breathing bird found in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology. In these ancient texts, Anzû is linked to death and destruction as well as birth and creation, reflecting the juxtaposing themes of calamity and salvation often expressed through birdsong in Messiaen's quartet.
The Tune In Festival is supported by a generous gift from composer Rachel Fuller (Animal Requiem) and musician Pete Townshend (The Who). Additional funds provided by the Henry Mancini Tribute Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge Grant Endowment.