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ETHEL & Robert Mirabal: The River Oct. 3

on September 26, 2017 - 5:56am
The string quartet ETHEL. Courtesy/Erin Patrice O’Brien

Robert Mirabal. Courtesy/CurryImages.com

 

LPAC News:
 
Daring string quartet ETHEL and Grammy-winning flute musician Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo join forces for a cross-cultural concert inspired by water and its essential role in life on earth.
 
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 West San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Tickets are $25-$45 and available at Lensic.org, TicketsSantaFe.org, 505.988.1234, and the Tickets Santa Fe Box Office at The Lensic.
 
 
Continuing a deeply successful six-year collaboration inspired by ceremonies dedicated to the Sun, contemporary string quartet ETHEL and Taos Pueblo flutist Robert Mirabal present their next evolution of the cross-cultural concert experience. The inspiration for The River is Water as the embodiment of Spirit, and its essential role in Life on Earth. The audience is immersed in a flow of music, narrative, and ritual that evokes timeless Native American traditions through contemporary musical artistry. As delivered by these master performers, the effect is breathtaking, even ecstatic.
 
ETHEL 

Established in New York City in 1998, ETHEL quickly earned a reputation as one of America’s most adventurous string quartets—heirs to the likes of the Kronos Quartet and Soldier String Quartet, and part of a generation of young artists blending uptown, conservatory musicianship with downtown genre-crossing—by playing with the intensity and accoutrements of a rock band. The New York Times has described them as “indefatigable and eclectic,” The New Yorker has deemed them “vital and brilliant,” and Pitchfork has called them “infectiously visceral.” Nearly two decades into their singular career, ETHEL has in turn become seminal in its own right, a path-breaker for countless younger genre-spanning ensembles and a prolific commissioner of new music. ETHEL is Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin).
 
At the heart of ETHEL is a collaborative ethos—a quest for a common creative expression that is forged in the celebration of community.  In addition to premiering 21st-century works by a broad range of groundbreaking composers, the quartet creates and tours rich, often multimedia productions in which community engagement is a key element
 
ETHEL has collaborated with artists including David Byrne, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kaki King, Todd Rundgren, Carlo Mombelli, Ursula Oppens, Juana Molina, Tom Verlaine, STEW, Ensemble Modern, Jill Sobule, Dean Osborne, Robert Mirabal, Howard Levy, Simone Sou, Andrew Bird, Iva Bittová, Colin Currie, Thomas Dolby, Jeff Peterson, Oleg Fateev, Stephen Gosling, Jake Shimabukuro, Polygraph Lounge, and Vijay Iyer.  The quartet regularly performs works by all members of the ensemble, alongside music by Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, Phil Kline, David Lang, Dan Friel, Mary Ellen Childs, John King, Raz Masinai, John Zorn, Missy Mazzoli, Anna Clyne, Steve Reich, Kenji Bunch, Don Byron, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Marcelo Zarvos, Pamela Z, Evan Ziporyn, and Terry Riley.  Over the past five years, ETHEL has premiered 150+ new works, many of them commissioned by the quartet.
 
Robert Mirabal 
 
Two-time Grammy Award winner Robert Mirabal lives with his family at the foot of the sacred Taos Mountain in northern New Mexico. Maintaining a traditional life, keeping the centuries-old customs of the Taos Pueblo people, Robert has been described as a Native American “Renaissance man”—musician, composer, painter, master craftsman, poet, actor, screenwriter, horseman, and farmer—and he travels extensively playing his music all over the world. If you live a traditional life you see things differently—spiritually and musically. His first flute came when he was 18 with money he borrowed from his grandmother, and shortly afterward he had the opportunity to meet Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai, who greatly influenced him. When they met, he looked at Robert’s hands and laughed. He said, “I have that same scar. It’s the scar of the flute maker.”
 
In the years since, Robert has continued the evolution of his flute making and has also become an accomplished novelist, poet, craftsman, composer, dancer, actor, painter, sculptor, concert performer, and recording artist. His dozen albums of traditional music, rock and roll, and spoken word present a contemporary view of American Indian life that is unequaled. “My music is informed by the ceremonial music that I’ve heard all my life. What I create comes out of my body and soul in a desire to take care of the spirits of the earth.”  A leading proponent of world music, Robert has merged his indigenous American sound with those of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, tapping into a planetary pulse with a style that defies categorization. “My travels have provided me with experiences that I could have never imagined, and exposed me to a global sound and a global voice.”
 
Whether as a composer, songwriter, or musician, Robert has won many honors including two Native American Artist of the Year awards, three Songwriter of the Year awards, a 2006 Grammy Award forSacred Ground, and a 2008 Grammy Award for Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants, blending all of Robert’s influences into a musical landscape that conjures up both the historic and contemporary West.

 


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