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The Soraya Presents The World Premiere Of TREELOGY in February 2023

Treelogy will receive its world premiere on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Soraya.

The Soraya Presents The World Premiere Of TREELOGY in February 2023

For thousands of years, California's ancient forests stood as symbols of permanence. But the fierce wildfires that ravaged the state the last two years jeopardize the existence of these mighty trees, which are among the longest-living organisms on Earth.

In response to this threat, and as a call to action, the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts' Executive and Artistic Director Thor Steingraber commissioned three contemporary composers-Billy Childs, Steven Mackey, and Gabriella Smith-each with deep roots in California and each with their own original musical voice to create Treelogy, new compositions to honor three of the trees most in danger. LA's prolific multi-genre composer Billy Childs will honor the Giant Sequoias; Grammy Award-winning guitarist and educator Steven Mackey reflects on the endangered Coastal Redwoods; and San Francisco Bay Area environmentalist and composer Gabriella Smith pays tribute to the disappearing Joshua Trees.

Treelogy will receive its world premiere on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Soraya. The chamber music ensemble Delirium Musicum will perform in all three pieces. Steven Mackey will join them in the piece he composed about the Coastal Redwood, playing electric guitar. The Billie Childs Quartet led by Childs at the piano will join Delirium Musicum in the piece he composed about the Giant Sequoia. In Gabriella Smith's piece dedicated to the Joshua Tree, the ensemble will be supplemented by electronic samplings Smith has been creating from her time spent in the desert.

Plans include subsequent Treelogy performances at campuses throughout California, as part of a multidisciplinary program that brings together artists and academics around the important issues of ecology and fire response.

Treelogy Background

In 2020, wildfires ravaged California's ancient forests and roared through her canyons and mountain passes. It was a pattern that would repeat to the north and east in Oregon and Colorado. "California's epic wildfires in 2020 took aim at the state's most beloved trees. In a relative instant, countless ancient Redwoods, hundreds of Giant Sequoias and more than one million Joshua Trees perished. The blackened wreckage sends a clear message. These trees are in the fight of their lives."

Those are the words of New York Times journalist John Branch. He and photojournalist Max Wittaker chronicled the 2020 destruction to California's most iconic and beloved trees in their story They're Among The World's Oldest Living Things. The Climate Crisis is Killing Them. The story touched upon the crisis facing Californians and people around the world, many of whom face natural disasters with greater frequency and impact. In California, however, these tree species cannot be rebuilt or relocated. They are thousands of years old and are as central to the state's identity as its ecology.

Inspired by this stunning reporting, Steingraber sought to create a musical response to the fires, and a call to action to save these precious trees. He enlisted three renowned composers and violinist Etienne Gara to create Treelogy, a three-part concert to be unveiled on February 23, 2023. Gara, violinist and founder of the chamber ensemble Delirium Musicum, is the current Artist-in-Residence at The Soraya. He and his partner, violinist YuEun Kim, spent much of the pandemic traveling throughout California in a restored VW bus, bringing their Musikaravan's live music to remote locations and rural communities. With a backdrop of California's wilderness and awe-inspiring vistas, sometimes Gara and Kim performed solely for nearby flora and fauna, a journey that inspired Gara to tackle broader issues with his music.

The Soraya and Gara's Delirium Musicum will partner on Treelogy. Their aspiration is to bring Treelogy to every college campus in California. For that purpose, they will invite scientists, educators, activists, and advocates to come together in an unprecedented multi-disciplinary effort aimed at bringing a sense of purpose and common understanding to the threats faced by California's resources.

In the midst of so much destruction, music can be a source of hope and understanding. In his article, Branch illustrates another. "As if to provide more proof of its resilience, even when a Redwood is chopped down it is not always defeated. Dead Redwoods often sprout several more trees around the stump, a "fairy ring" that defines second-growth forests."

Treelogy is much like that fairy ring that will appear throughout California's concert halls and campuses in 2023 giving further visibility to the issues of climate change for the next generations of Californians.

Phone: 818-677-3000
The Soraya Presents The World Premiere Of TREELOGY in February 2023

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