On Thursday, September 24 I received a call from Oliver Caplan late in the evening asking if I could jump in to help support a string quartet with Juventas New Music Ensemble. The group was performing on Saturday evening in a livestream setting from Futura Studios in Roslindale and there was one more rehearsal on Friday. I was happy to jump in.
"[Derrick Spiva Jr.'s] American Mirror reflects on the coming together of cultures in our society, which consists of many generations and descendants of refugees, immigrants, and slaves, and how intercultural collaborations are essential to the well-being of American society. Melodically, the piece draws from West African, North African, and Eastern European vocal techniques and ornamentations, in addition to modal scales. Underneath these melodies, American Mirror uses open harmonies commonly found in Appalachian folk music, and also includes drones, an accompaniment practice found in many musical cultures."
Read the full concert program here.