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Mystical singing from the Esoterics at Christ Episcopal, Tacoma

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Oct. 3, 2012 at 5:34 am with No Comments »
October 2, 2012 10:37 am
The Esoterics with director Eric Banks. Courtesy photo.

It’s always sheer joy to hear The Esoterics. Puget Sound has plenty of choirs, but none other that sing terrifically difficult music that has only just been written (okay, maybe some from last century too) in a dozen different languages and a cappella to boot. Not only that but they sing exquisitely – hear those sopranos and die happy. Most impressively, they also commission their own works, and this Saturday sees a Tacoma performance of three of those as world premieres, alongside other poetic compositions.

The concert’s called Mystikos, and the works therein encapsulate the human experience of the mystical. The three premieres (all winners of the choir’s international Polyphonos competition) go from Zachary Wadsworth’s “Three Lacquer Prints,” inspired by the Japanese ‘floating world,’ to Philip Wharton’s “Night Rising” and Rita Ueda’s elegy for the victims of Japan’s 2011 tsunami, “Hoping You Hear Me.”

The rest of the program is equally poetic: a setting by Cornish student David Dossett of Wallace Stevens’ poem “Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird,” a composition by Robinson McClellan about the innocence of youth, Robert Kyr’s setting of his own poem “In praise of music” and “Three Mystical Choruses” by Steven Sametz, setting ancient poetry from the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Islamic faiths.

8 p.m. Oct. 6. Tickets from $15. Christ Episcopal Church, 310 N. K St., Tacoma (other Seattle concerts follow). 206-935-7779, theesoterics.org

 

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