This way to the future...
We’ve had an incredible 2018-2019 season here at 3A, concluding with the final notes of our season quite literally disappearing up into the heavens in John Luther Adams’ Everything That Rises at OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium. It will be nice to have a few months for sunshine, planning, and maybe catching up on a little sleep, but all of us on Team 3A are already buzzing about what’s to come next season…
Breaking Down Boundaries
In programming Third Angle’s 2019-2020 season, I wanted to focus on three things, the first of which is communicating the artificiality of the boundaries we humans construct. The inclination to categorize is certainly an instinctual one—for example, knowing the difference between types of snakes can mean safety. We need, however, to be intentional about where we draw lines, because ideas like trying to fit music into tidy little genre boxes and turning human beings into “the other” inhibit creativity and empathy. I want Third Angle to bash against those fabricated walls with our own musical sledgehammer.
To do that, we have Back in the Groove, our November show embracing the Venn diagram of the jazz and contemporary classical worlds, which have a substantial enough intersection to beg the question: Is this actually just two ends of a continuum? If it isn’t, where on earth do you draw the line between them?
We’ll also explore both physical and racial lines in our newly commissioned chamber opera by Darrell Grant, Sanctuaries. Portlanders realize this is a very white and white-centric city and that we have past and present problems with gentrification, but how many among us really understand why and how that came to be? We’re going to dig in for an honest look at redlining in Portland’s Albina neighborhood, where physical lines were drawn to separate humans who share the same desire for home and family but different skin colors and systems of power and entitlement.
Finally, we’ll crush any image of the good ol’ boys of the composition world and the brass section as we present the youngest Pultizer Prize-winning composer in history, Caroline Shaw, and Genghis Barbie, the world's "leading post-post-feminist all-female horn experience.” The Barbies, who include stellar members of the New York Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony, defy genre and any other expectation you might have, and will perform their own arrangements of everything from pop music to contemporary classical works and beyond. Caroline Shaw will perform some of her favorite recent works as the 3A string quartet give the world premiere of our latest commission from Shaw.
Protecting Mother Earth
The second season goal? Using our musical platform to push the world forward. In addition to the light Sanctuaries shines on racial issues, we’re taking on climate change. There is nothing more important than putting every ounce of our energy and resources toward addressing melting polar ice, rising global temperatures, species extinction, and extreme weather. At In Wildness, we’ll take you to the Arctic, where beauty and heartbreak intertwine, the clearest example of our hubris conveniently out of sight and out of mind. None among us can claim innocence as we give a voice to the glaciers and the wolves. To those who do their worst to further the crisis, you are about to be called out—Koch brothers, I’m looking at you, thanks to composer Jonathan Russ.
Loving Our Home
And the third and final goal—it wouldn’t be a 3A season without celebrating the creativity incubator that is our hometown. At Homecomings we’re hosting a celebratory homecoming of composers who honed their craft in Oregon before heading out to take the music world by storm. This is a big season for commissioning at 3A! In addition to the works from Darrell Grant and Caroline Shaw, for this show we’ve commissioned works by Aaron Helgeson, Phil Taylor, and Lisa Neher, plus a collaboration between collaboration between guitarist/composer Mario Díaz and Oregon's Poet Laureate Kim Stafford. Our audience can also look forward to hearing works from local favorites Kenji Bunch and Andrea Reinkemeyer
I’d like to extend my gratitude to the supporters of our commissioning fund, including Betsy Russell, Carl and Marjorie Abbott, and our partner Gabriela Lena Frank’s Creative Academy of Music; and to our season sponsor Ronni Lacroute. All of us at Team 3A are thrilled to bring so many new works into being this year, and you all make it possible.
Stay tuned, as we have some pretty big and exciting happenings to be announced over the next few months! And in the meantime, please join us June 22 from 2-4pm for Music from the Rooftops, as Portland’s Pearl District gets its very own soundtrack. Five rooftops and five mini-previews of Third Angle’s 2019/2020 season, performed outdoors at some of Portland’s most stunning rooftops. You won’t want to miss this!