About this project
NEW HOPE . NEW MUSIC . NEW CONCERT
新たに願っています 新しい音楽 新しいコンサート
We invite you to support a music project honoring the memory of the victims of Japan's devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the resilience of its survivors : A Thousand Paper Cranes, a major new work by award-winning American composer Michael Schelle.
This new 15-18 minute piece for piano and chamber orchestra, written for the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and Japanese pianist Miho Sasaki, will be premiered at a special concert in New York City at the Thalia Theatre inside Symphony Space, March 2013, the second anniversary of the disasters that claimed over 19,000 lives and still effect so many in Japan today.
Sharing the NYC concert with A Thousand Paper Cranes will be music by two distinguished contemporary Japanese composers: Akira Kobayashi (b. 1960) and Hifumi Shimoyama (b. 1930). Chamber music by the late, great Japanese composers Toshiro Mayuzumi (1929-1997) and Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) will also be heard.
In Japanese folklore the crane is a mystical being that grants the heartfelt wishes of those who honor it by folding 1,000 paper cranes. In Japan today, a string of 1,000 paper cranes is a symbol of good fortune and, thus, often given as a gift at such important events as marriages and births. With this in mind, composer Michael Schelle hopes his new work, A Thousand Paper Cranes, will bring good fortune to all the people of Japan.
Schelle writes: "There are many reasons I am so deeply moved by the Japan tragedy of March 11, 2011. Over the years I have been a frequent guest composer in Japan, including a recent visit to Hiroshima, where I witnessed an amazing display of MANY THOUSANDS of exquisite paper cranes - all lovingly hand-made by thousands of school children - adorning the city's Peace Memorial fence. (This was a breathtaking experience which haunts me to this day). Most importantly, I was so heartbroken by the look of fear, disbelief and sadness I saw on the face of my wife, pianist Miho Sasaki, as she sat paralyzed by her emotions, watching televised images of the devastation of her homeland last March. Because of this and the kinship I've grown to feel with the Japanese musical community I felt the need to reach out through a significant new work.
A Thousand Paper Cranes will be Michael Schelle's second expression of sorrow and hope about Japan's recent series of disasters. Last year, inspired by these same feelings, he composed The End of the World, a major work that was commissioned by a consortium of 35 university and professional wind ensembles and symphonic bands from across the United States.
Funds raised via KICKSTARTER will support the composition of A Thousand Paper Cranes and pianist Miho Sasaki's time to learn the new work. Funding will also help defray expenses related to concert planning and organization. It is possible that composer Akira Kobayashi may be able to attend (from Tokyo) and funding BEYOND the initial goal could help with those expenses. In any event, both Kobayashi and Shimoyama will provide all performance materials (scores and parts) for their pieces 'free of charge'.
Funding BEYOND the goal will also be used to help the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra with its significant expenses for the program (concert hall rental, musicians' fees for rehearsals and performance, concert publicity, etc.). Additional funding will also help with copying costs, reproductions of the score and performance parts, our travel to New York for the March 2013 rehearsals and concert . . . and to help take the sting out of the combined Kickstarter / Amazon administrative processing fees (c. 9%).
In the spirit of the project, composer Michael Schelle, pianist Miho Sasaki, the MCO conductor and a few of the MCO musicians will be providing their services and concert participation 'free of charge'.
Future performances (and a possible commercial recording) of the new work are already being discussed with ensembles across the United States and Japan. We also plan on repeating the original NYC program in Indianapolis and Chicago later in 2013 / 2014. Project backers / supporters will be kept posted of ALL activities and adventures related to A Thousand Paper Cranes.
Thank you / domo arigato gozaimasu !!
SAMPLE AUDIO / VIDEO
- CLICK HERE : Official website of composer Michael Schelle
- CLICK HERE : Miho Sasaki in rehearsal: South Shore Orchestra (Chicago) "on tour" throughout China: January, 2010
- CLICK HERE : Miho Sasaki in rehearsal
- CLICK HERE : Miho Sasaki in rehearsal
- CLICK HERE : Miho Sasaki performs the 1st movement of Michael Schelle's "Straight, No Lithium" (2010)
- CLICK HERE : Miho Sasaki performs the 9th movement of Michael Schelle's "Straight, No Lithium" as an encore (audio only)
- CLICK HERE : YOUTUBE videos of Michael Schelle's music
- CLICK HERE : audio/video page of Michael Schelle's website
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