Musical Reflections on Home

Tapestry is a new biennial festival that uses the language of music to explore issues faced by our community and invites members of our community to lend their voices and viewpoints to the exploration. In the inaugural 2019 festival, Tapestry19, the SPCO delves into the concept of home — where, when and how we feel at home in a dynamic and ever-changing world. Tapestry19 deals with a central question: “How do I recognize my home?” SPCO Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Lembit Beecher and musicians of the SPCO have curated Tapestry19 to include many musical responses to that question from a diverse set of composers and artists and engage with a wide range of collaborators to explore home from their unique perspectives.

Voices from the SPCO’s home, the Twin Cities community, are central to this festival. Tapestry19 features the world premiere of Twin Cities interdisciplinary artist, vocalist and composer PaviElle French’s A Requiem for Zula, a tribute to her mother and her upbringing in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, which is French’s first-ever work written for orchestra. In addition, a new work by Beecher features poetry by Twin Cities writer and University of Saint Thomas professor Chris Santiago, along with stories about home recorded by Twin Cities community members over the past year. The festival also features the world premiere of a new work by Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh about the collective memories of growing up in Syria in the 1980s, and a newly commissioned work by 17-year-old American composer Maya Miro Johnson.

Tapestry19 spans several SPCO concert series, including the Liquid Music Series, which presents a work-in-progress event with Twin Cities Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer Ashwini Ramaswamy and hosted by TU Dance artistic director Toni Pierce-Sands.

Click here to view a PDF of our Tapestry19 Festival booklet, which includes in-depth information about the artists and performances, including lyrics to PaviElle French’s A Requiem for Zula.

February 11, 2019 – Ashwini Ramaswamy: Let the Crows Come (Liquid Music Series conversation at Parkway Theater, Minneapolis)

Minneapolis-based Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer Ashwini Ramaswamy discusses her multidisciplinary original work Let the Crows Come featuring collaborator and composer/DJ/author Jace Clayton and Twin Cities dancer Alanna Morris-Van Tassel. Presented at the newly-renovated Parkway Theater in South Minneapolis, the work-in-progress conversation is part of the SPCO’s Tapestry19 Festival and includes video footage of Ramaswamy’s Space Residency at The Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Please note: The SPCO does not perform on this program.

Let the Crows Come is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

February 12, 2019 – SPCO at Turf Club 

The SPCO brings core chamber music repertoire to the historic Turf Club, a mainstay of the Twin Cities music scene, located in Saint Paul’s Midway neighborhood. For this special Tapestry19 performance at the intimate Turf Club, we’ve asked members of the SPCO: What is your musical home? SPCO musicians will share solo and duo works that have deeply impacted and shaped their musical lives.

February 15–17, 2019 – Songs My Mother Taught Me (at the Ordway Concert Hall and Benson Great Hall in Arden Hills)

This program examines the legacy of family, community and country. Two premieres by outstanding contemporary composer-performers anchor this program which also includes works imbued with a sense of place by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and Americans Charles Ives and Michael Abels. Interdisciplinary artist PaviElle French, a native of Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, presents a new work dedicated to the memory of her mother, while Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh reaches into his childhood to write a piece inspired by the rhythms of the Syrian pledge of allegiance that he was required to repeat every morning in school.

A Requiem for Zula by PaviElle Marissa French is made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.


February 19, 2019 – Many Threads Weaving a Path Home (at the East Side Freedom Library in Saint Paul)

In partnership with the East Side Freedom Library, the SPCO is posing the central question of Tapestry19 to a talented group of artists from around the Twin Cities: how do you recognize home? The artists, including SPCO musicians Kyu-Young Kim, Sang Yoon Kim and Alicia McQuerrey, will respond to this question from their own perspective, utilizing a wide range of media, including instrumental music, spoken word, and song-form. Refreshments and conversation will follow the event. Free and open to the public — no reservations are required.

February 22–24, 2019 – Reflections on Home (at the Ordway Concert Hall)

The final program of the Tapestry19 Festival is an exploration of the idea of home, featuring a world premiere by SPCO Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Lembit Beecher, which uses samples of 47 interview recordings of Twin Cities community members sharing their reflections about what home means to them, along with newly commissioned poetry by University of Saint Thomas professor Chris Santiago. 14 year-old Felix Mendelssohn was coming into his own as a composer when he wrote twelve sinfonias to be performed at private salons organized by his parents in their Berlin residence. A similarly young and talented 17-year-old, Utah-native Maya Miro Johnson reflects more directly on the idea of home through her adventurous sound palette in another SPCO commissioned work. The concert also includes the Miracle Symphony, one of a series of symphonies written by Joseph Haydn during an extended stay in his adopted home of London late in his life.

Stream Reflections on Home in our free online Concert Library.

Say Home is made possible in part through the support of Jack and Linda Hoeschler and Fred and Gloria Sewell.

Lembit Beecher is the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Music Alive is a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.

We extend our warmest thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the Tapestry19 Festival

Amphion Foundation
Aaron Copland Fund for Music
Amy L. Hubbard and Geoffrey J. Kehoe Fund