This concert, performed by the UCLA Early Music Ensemble in March 2015, musically portrayed something of the complexity of the “Age of Discovery” (fifteenth-eighteenth centuries). Combining UCLA students, faculty, staff, and Los Angeles community members, I designed and directed this performance, which featured the little-heard wealth of colonial-era Indigenous “early music.” Pieces derived from the nexus of European and Indigenous American interactions, and included some of the first Indigenous (European influenced) compositions in the “New World,” “Old World” operas featuring American characters, and other exquisite musical moments often with deplorable histories.
The ensemble included members of some of the communities from which we found our repertoire–Indigenous American, French, Spanish, English. In preparing the concert, we collaborated with native speaker language coaches, scholars with long-time research relationships with these communities, and members of the origin communities themselves. Rather than “recreate” the music of long ago, we set out to inform our performance practice with the ideas and perspectives of Indigenous and European peoples of the past and present. (Concert photos by Henry Lim.)
Invited Program Notes download: Imagining the New World Program notes
This concert also resulted in a peer-reviewed article.