Studio Z Presents
Music of Joshua Musikantow
Studio Z presents an evening of music by adventurous Twin Cities composer Joshua Musikantow, featuring Zeitgeist performing selections from Flare, which sets texts written by the composer, and vocal excerpts from Yiddish is My Homeland, a new work for string quartet and two voices, featuring vocalists Alyssa Anderson and Justin Spenner singing poetry by first generation Jewish American authors. The event will also include a discussion of the creation of Yiddish is My Homeland with the composer and performers.
This concert is produced as part of "Studio Z Presents," a new concert series curated by musicians in our community, thanks to a grant from the City of Saint Paul STAR Program.
About Joshua Musikantow
Joshua Musikantow (b. 1981) is a Twin Cities composer whose music has been performed in concerts and festivals in England, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and across the United States. He has completed commissions for 113, Acute Trio, Noriko Kawaii, Zeitgeist, The No Exit Ensemble, Strains New Music Ensemble, Loadbang, Duo Gelland, Chartreuse trio, The Spitting Image Collective, The Gregorian Singers, the Artemis Vocal Ensemble, among many others. He has been a recipient of the McKnight Artist Fellowship, the JFund award, the Zeitgeist call for scores, New Music USA creator development fund, and the FCA emergency grant. He earned his BM in Music Composition and BA in English at Lawrence University, his MA in Music Composition at the University at Buffalo, and his PhD in Music Composition at the University of Minnesota, studying under James Dillon. He is the chair of the development committee in the new music presenting organization, 113.
Each of the nine short movements of Flare is assigned a card in a hypothetical deck of cards, containing the suits: bowls, vines, hourglasses, and shadows. The text takes the form of a quasi-divinatory reading based on my personal associations with the numbers and suits. The text is recited as if English were a tonal language, with various curves in pitch indicated over short units, but no specified melodic shape for whole lines.
Yiddish is my Homeland sets to music Yiddish poetry by 1st generation Jewish American authors, including A Crumb of Bread, by David Edelstadt, The Joy of the Yiddish Word, by Jacob Glatstein; and The New Life, by Chaya Rochel Andres. The title is a quotation from Arne Thorne, the last editor of the New York-based Yiddish anarchist newspaper, Fraye Arbeter Shtime. This will be the first Yiddish language work in the festival’s history. “While Hebrew is the holy tongue of the Jewish people, Yiddish was the mother tongue of the Ashkenazim”, Musikantow explains. “I wanted to respond to the crisis in Palestine in some way, but I didn’t want to tell the story of the Palestinians because I didn’t feel like that was my story to tell. Instead, Yiddish is My Homeland documents the experiences of my own people: their pursuit of social justice; their fight against the exploitation of the garment workers; their struggles to preserve their language, customs, and values following their arrival in America; and their commitment to ‘doikayt’, or ‘hereness’, which is best understood as a radical Diasporism aimed at strengthening Jewish communities wherever they live.”
Tickets can be securely purchased by credit card or through your PayPal account in advance, or by cash or credit card at the door. Tickets purchased online will be held at the door.
Please consider adding a $5 donation to Studio Z with your ticket purchase. Your donation supports the operation of Studio Z and keeps it an affordable venue for artists and presenters in the Twin Cities. Studio Z is owned and operated by Zeitgeist, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the music of our time.