The following description was submitted by the event organizer.
Resonance Ensemble performs Safe Harbor, a concert of powerful new vocal music exploring experiences of asylum and exile and what it means to be an immigrant as we celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of the United States.
At Safe Harbor, Resonance Ensemble will unveil their newly-commissioned work by the composer and celebrated Portland-based performer, violinist/looper Joe Kye, integrating folk music from his native Korea with American folk music and improvisation.
“When Resonance Ensemble approached me about composing for Safe Harbor, I was overjoyed. I look forward to the opportunity to offer my voice — this collaborative performance with Resonance,” says Kye.
“I recognize the disquiets of our country while also seeking to reassure listeners that there is a different way, that we, with our individual hopes and dreams, can come together to build a community that allows each to express and pursue these fully, regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation. I offer a meditation of empowerment, a dwelling place for the rekindling of compassion, a sonic clearing in which we can feel, together, what the alternative looks like.”
Safe Harbor will also feature the world premiere of Mother of Exiles, a musical adaptation and reimagining of Emma Lazarus’s famous poem, ("Give me your tired, your poor…") by Portland composer Theresa Koon.
Other works include To the Hands, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw; “Réfugié, mon frère,” by the Haitian-American composer and Portland resident Sydney Guillaume, and music by Eric Banks, Melissa Dunphy, and Ysaye Barnwell.
The concert is given in partnership with Immigration Counseling Services. ICS is the oldest, and only, independent nonprofit law firm dedicated to improving the lives of immigrants in Oregon and Southwest Washington for the past 40 years. ICS provides high-quality, low-cost legal services for the immigrant community, including general immigration cases, a program for unaccompanied minors representing children under the age of 18 detained by ICE in Oregon, and Oregon’s only full-time anti-trafficking program focused on foreign-born victims. ICS will be on hand to share information about their work, including ways that audience members can support current needs of Oregon immigrants.
Other notable moments will include:
- Q & A after the concert with FitzGibbon, Kye, Koon, Guillaume, and other artists on the program.
- Portland writer and Resonance Poet in Residence, S. Renee Mitchell, performing an original poem written especially for the concert.
- Portland favorite David Saffert on piano.
- A monologue by Cristi Miles, a founder of the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble (PETE), reflecting on the changing culture around the border of her native El Paso, Texas
“We believe that art connects us all,” says Artistic Director, Katherine FitzGibbon. “Safe Harbor will be an opportunity for our audiences to take a fresh look at the lives of immigrants and asylum-seekers in America in the past, present, and future.”