Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung is set to highlight the Zeitgeist’s concert season with a special concert performances May 17-19, 7:30 p.m. and May 20, 2 p.m. at Studio Z, 275 E. 4th Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101.
Ung will be present for the Zeitgeist world premiere of his major new chamber work Spiral XIV: “Nimitta”.
Ung’s music weaves together his Cambodian heritage, Western classical training and a powerful sense of purpose born of life’s challenges to create music that is profoundly moving and transformative. His singular approach to color, gesture, timbre and form results in a highly authentic music that sounds unlike anything else being created today.
Spiral XIV “Nimitta” incorporates vocalization, chant and Cambodian percussion instruments in addition to Zeitgeist’s unique instrumentation of two percussion, clarinet and piano.
Also included on the program will be Ryoanji by John Cage and Double Ikat by Paul Dresher.
According to Ung’s label, Bridge Records (www.bridgerecords.com) Ung’s music is much celebrated. He is a winner of both the Grawemeyer and Friedheim Awards.
In 1980, Ung learned that half his family of three brothers, a sister, and several nieces and nephews had been killed in Cambodia, and he directed his efforts toward rescuing his remaining relatives. He also began playing music with Cambodian refugee musicians and dancers, touring the United States, even performing at the White House.
This period saw Ung composing very little. In the intervening years he has produced an important body of carefully constructed, highly colorful work.
His works during the past 25 years are performed by the Da Capo Chamber Players and recorded under the composer’s supervision.
Tickets are $10. Visit www.zeitgeistnewmusic.org.