Sounds of the Silk Road

first_imgArguably one of the most eclectic versions of “Happy Birthday” drifted through the Kirkland House Junior Common Room on Monday.The offbeat rendering was no surprise given the diverse mix of musicians behind it, members of the Silk Road Ensemble, Yo-Yo Ma’s collective of artists that explores musical crossroads. In between performing new compositions for a packed house, the players serenaded one of their own, tabla player Sandeep Das, with the familiar song for his special day.On the impromptu stage at the end of the wood-paneled hall were the string instruments typically associated with the classical repertoire, violins, a cello, a viola, and a bass. But there was also a kamancheh, a Persian bowed-string instrument, and a pipa, a four-stringed instrument from China, and a gaita, a Galician bagpipe, and the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute.Made up of internationally renowned performers and composers from more than 20 countries, the ensemble was back in residency at Harvard during winter break as part of a five-year collaboration between Harvard and the project, a nonprofit inspired by the cultural traditions of the ancient Eurasian Silk Road trade routes that connected East with West.For the next several years, the group will present a series of performances, workshops, and collaborations with local arts, cultural, and educational institutions.During the week the ensemble worked on four new commissioned works, which they played for the evening concert, which was co-sponsored by Harvard’s Office for the Arts’ popular Learning From Performers program.Addressing the audience before the show, violinist Colin Jacobsen said the week during which the musicians and composers worked in a “creative cauldron” was “amazing.”Yo-Yo Ma (left) speaks with composer Vijay Iyer, who created “Playlist for an Extreme Occasion,” a work that included a type of musical dialogue between the cello and the tabla,  along with the use of the piano as a percussive instrument, and segments of improvisation.So too was the input from Harvard students, he said.“To have Harvard students reflect on what we were doing as we were doing it and give us their feedback was incredibly valuable for us.”Composer Vijay Iyer created “Playlist for an Extreme Occasion,” a work that included a type of musical dialogue between the cello and the tabla — a pair of Indian drums — along with the use of the piano as a percussive instrument, and segments of improvisation.In creating the work, Iyer said he tried to “think about how we experience music today, what is it for, and how does it function in our lives. … You can’t force meaning onto any musical situation, but you can at least open it up as a question.”David Bruce composed the four-part work “Cut the Rug,” which included a frenetic final movement that he said “sort of raises the roof.” He said he was forced to rethink how to craft a work for musicians with such different approaches to the art form.“I am used to writing everything down. … And knowing that there were some musicians who don’t come from traditions where that happens, it was quite hard for me to get my head around.The evening also included the rhythmically challenging work “Mille Etoiles” by Glenn Kotche, percussionist for the alternative rock band Wilco. Inspired by a night camping in France under the stars and the birth dates of members of his family, the work is based on impossibly complex time signatures like 31/8.A taped rehearsal would have been peppered with “four-letter words,” joked bass player Jeff Beecher. To prepare the piece, the musicians broke it down into sections, he said during a question-and-answer session with the audience, working slowly and prepping “for the inevitable.”As part of the recent residency, the ensemble also took part in a Wintersession arts intensive titled “Knowing the Score: A Workshop in New Music Without Borders.” Throughout the week, ensemble members met with a small group of undergraduate and graduate students to help them develop independent projects based on the ensemble’s work.Harvard participants included Graduate School of Design student Timothy Carey, who was interested in the collaborative process of music as opposed to that of design. Robert Moore, a student in the Graduate School of Education’s International Education program who has worked in Nepal to establish a national music curriculum, was also eager to see the group’s rehearsal and collaborative process. Freshman Stella Fiorenzoli, an aspiring composer, created a mini-composition for the group based on Tibetan and Indian folk tunes.The intensive culminated in a final presentation of the projects, which included discussions and the performance of brief compositions.last_img read more

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Continuation of Training Process and Competition soon in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

first_imgA second video conference was held organized by the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday with representatives of all clubs of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.The participants of the conference were greeted on behalf of the FF BH by president Elvedin Begic, and attended by general secretary Adnan Džemidžić, executive director of the sport sector Elmir Pilav and chairman of the Competition Committee Milorad O. Lale.Club representatives were presented with an official letter from UEFA outlining guidelines on the principles of eligibility for participation in the UEFA club competitions for the 2020/21 season. The primary requirement is to end championship on the green field with the recommendation that national associations should exhaust all possibilities to complete the domestic competition by the end. It is the duty of the national associations to submit to the UEFA, by 25thMay 2020 at the latest, a plan for the continuation and format of the competition. There are only two justifiable reasons that a domestic competition may end prematurely. Firstly, if there are measures to ban the organization of sports competitions and the inability to complete them within the stipulated time. Another option is to end the national competition early, if for special economic and financial reasons, the eventual continuation of the season could endanger domestic competition and clubs in the long run. The clubs are also aware of the manner of eventual termination of the competition, in which case the procedure for clubs’ participation in the UEFA competitions is prescribed. In the event of any deviation from the set principles in the application of clubs for European competitions by national associations, UEFA reserves the discretion to refuse those clubs.Furthermore, the clubs have been suggested a plan of activities prepared by the FF BH, related to the continuation of the training process and competition in the BHT Premier League. The indicative starting dates for the training process are from 08-10.05.2020 for individual preparations. The second part would start on 13.05.2020, when work would continue in groups (up to a maximum of 5 players), and the final part of preparations would start from 23.05.2020. The proposal to continue the competition in the BHT Premier League is planned for 07.06.2020. The provided document also explains a way of match organization, with the implementation of special security measures, protocols of arrival, stay and departure of the teams from the stadium, as well as the realization of the event, which will be held without the spectators. The implementation of the proposed activities requires the prior approval of the competent authorities, provided that all sanitary and hygienic conditions have been created for the smooth running of the players’ physical activities.All deadlines are conditional; all proposed dates are adjusted to the current situation. If the epidemiological situation in our country improves in the coming period and the measures of the competent authorities are reduced or abolished, the FF BH Executive Board will only then consider proposals to continue the competition and make the necessary decisions. There is quite enough time to continue competing in the BHT Premier League, and what is most important at the moment is how to best prepare the sanitary conditions for the smooth continuation of the competition and the playing of matches, with the prior provision of all procedures for adequate protection of players’ health.last_img read more

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Iowa using federal funds to supplement unemployment payouts

first_imgJOHNSTON — Governor Kim Reynolds says the state is using emergency funds from the federal government to cover some of the increase in unemployment payouts.The latest data shows one in 10 Iowans in the workforce had been laid off and were getting unemployment checks in April. Iowa Workforce Development had originally planned to increase some business taxes if the state unemployment trust fund used to pay those benefits dipped too far.“We’re monitoring that on a weekly basis and then we’ll make a decision next week on how we’re going to move forward with handling the trigger and really monitoring what we’re going to do with the trust fund,” Reynolds says. “…because that impacts businesses.”If the state’s unemployment trust fund dipped to $950 million, state officials had planned to increase taxes paid into the fund on businesses that laid people off. The governor did not indicate how much federal money they’ve used instead to avoid charging those taxes.last_img read more

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