SOLI Chamber Ensemble continues its season at the San Antonio Botanical Garden with Fractals – an exploration of infinite color, shape, and voice – as composers weave new sounds and combinations into the ever-evolving kaleidoscope of music. Fractals features works by Gabriela Ortiz, Fazil Say, Xi Wang, Quinn Mason, San Antonio-native Aaron Prado, and the world premiere of Essays on Solitude and other Ambiguous Emotions by internationally acclaimed Syrian-American composer Kinan Azmeh.
Two quartets, both commissioned by SOLI, frame four solo works showcasing the dynamic range of both the ensemble and of contemporary classical music. Aaron Prado pays homage to Messiaen’s iconic Quartet with Suite for the Between Time. Gabriela Ortiz’s Estudios entre preludio for piano capture the play of light and colors in sound and explore the infinite motivic and polyrhythmic variations of a complex musical “fractal”. Xi Wang’s Rhapsody is an emotional and passionate tale of sadness for cello and Quinn Mason’s Three Pieces for Clarinet are at turns introspective, playful, lyrical, and spirited. Cleopatra by Fazil Say is an expressive offering – full of Arabian sounds and the varied rhythmic patterns of his native Turkey.
Kinan Azmeh’s new work is, likewise, evocative of his cultural heritage in its use of modalities and melodic turns. Texture and harmonies take on greater weight as the tension of the external intermingles with the contemplative mood of the internal in the latter sections of the work.
The Kinan Azmeh commission has been made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fractals is supported in part by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992 and the Marcia and Otto Koehler Foundation.