Eva Soltes, Founder/Director of Harrison House Music & Arts, is a 40-plus year practitioner of traditional South Indian Bharatanatyam dance having received intensive training from the legendary master dancer T. Balasaraswati and her family. During her four-part dance workshop, Eva addressed the basic principals of this sacred South Indian temple dance (which include Mudra (hand gesture), Tala (rhythm), and sculptural body poses) with a focus on bringing the ancient dance form into a contemporary context.
Welland Scripps, a New York based actor and theater director, is a recent graduate of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and founder of the Letter of Marque theater company in New York City. Welland’s grandfather Sam Scripps was a great lover and supporter of theater and was known throughout his lifetime as a man of few words. The media archive created by Eva Soltes includes rare videotaped conversations during which Sam shares his insight and philosophy about dance and theater. For his residency, Welland was given unlimited access to the archive through which he gained a deeper understanding of his family heritage in the arts.
LOU HARRISON: A World of Music played to a sold-out crowd at this special screening event held in the studio of local Joshua Tree artist Bobby Furst. The event was a shared benefit for FurstWurld Gallery and Harrison House Music & Arts.
Eric Byers has been a member of the L.A. based Calder Quartet since 1998. He has toured extensively with the group while maintaining a solo practice of composition and performance. Byers’ recent work focuses on creating multi-dimensional cello pieces which immerse the audience in atmospheric sound. Sadie Siegel is a self-taught musician who trained as a visual artist and architect and whose work aims to disrupt conventional stagings of music.
Master musician and percussionist Big Black was invited back to Harrison House to explore a lesser-known side of his artistic virtuosity – his flair for storytelling, songwriting and playing a mean blues guitar. For his presentation to the community, audiences were treated to a special evening performance of folklore and blues followed by a morning percussion meditation that united the group through his more widely known groundbreaking and unorthodox percussion techniques – a repertoire and mastery of world rhythms that has earned him international recognition.
Steve Gorn is one of the few westerners recognized to have captured the subtlety and beauty of Indian music. His CD Luminous Ragas is a landmark recording of music for yoga. Steve is creating a new idiom – a musical fusion that combines the essence of classical Indian tradition with a contemporary world music sensibility. With his virtuoso mastery and haunting musical lyricism he brings the healing of the sacred into our demanding contemporary lives. During his Harrison House performance, Steve was accompanied by accomplished Tabla player Daniel Paul Karp. Daniel is one of the founders of the Ali Akbar College in San Rafael, having studied and worked with the great Indian musician Ali Akbar Khan. He has performed with many other great musicians including Jai Uttal and Lakshmi Shankar.
This spectacle of artistry and performance was directed by Eva Soltes and produced by Harrison House Music & Arts as one of the main headline events for the 2012 Highway 62 Art Tours, an annual cultural and art touring event hosted by The Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. Lights, shadows and mysterious desert creatures inhabited the Harrison House and grounds amidst the sounds of harmonic voices, monkey chanting and Balinese Gamelan – drawing a crowd of nearly 200 visitors from the local area and around the world.
Named a “Face to Watch” in 2012 by the Los Angeles Times, Yuval Sharon has been creating an unconventional body of work exploring the interdisciplinary potential of opera. His impressive directorial resumé includes work with such international houses as the Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Deutsch Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, and the London Cultural Olympics. Most recently he has founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Industry, an avant opera company based in Los Angeles. Yuval plans to mount the first-ever professional production of Lou Harrison’s opera, Young Caesar with his company in 2014.
A member of the Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet since 1998, cellist Eric Byers has toured extensively with the group while maintaining a solo practice of composition and performance. His recent work focuses on creating multi-dimensional cello pieces which immerse the audience in atmospheric sound. Subsequent to his July 2012 performance at Harrison House, Eric was invited back to focus on the composition of new solo works. We look forward to presenting his new pieces at a future event.
The Land Trio: Jxel Rajchenberg, Javad Butah and Saba Alizadeh are all accomplished musicians who are steeped in classical forms originating from Mexico, Persia and India. Based on the idea that musical communication inspires freedom from cultural and national frames, The Land Trio mixes Tabla, Kamanche, Charango, Coco-banjo, Requinto Jarocho and Guitar creating an exciting new sound that blends ancestral traditions. In addition to their performance event the Trio’s residency at Harrison House inspired the creation of new works which they plan to record at a future date.
The San Francisco based Del Sol String Quartet (violinists Kate Stenberg and Rick Shinozaki, violist Charlton Lee and cellist Kathryn Bates Williams), has been critically acclaimed as “steeped in bravery and imagination” and has has twice been awarded the top Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. This high-energy quartet of master musicians has a twenty-year history of breaking the boundaries of classical music through riveting performances of new music with a global pulse and they broke new ground in Joshua Tree by being the first musicians to perform Lou Harrison’s Quartet Set at Harrison House.
Clarice Assad is a versatile, sophisticated and sought-after artist with highly accomplished musical depth and ability. Her compositions have been published and performed internationally and embrace a wide variety of styles including her own original approach. As an award-winning composer Clarice has been commissioned by many renowned orchestras and has also written works for theater and ballet. She has also received acclaim for her skills as a pianist, performing her own music as well as arrangements she makes of popular Brazilian songs and jazz standards. As a vocalist, Clarice sings in Portugese, French, Italian and English, but she thrives in exploring the voice as an instrument, creating a vast array of innovative sounds. She is a native of Rio de Janeiro and the daughter of Sergio Assad, one of today’s preeminent guitarists/composers.
A true original, composer/guitarist Gyan Riley seamlessly weaves together the virtuosity of Western classical music, north Indian raga, American fingerpicking and Spanish flamenco guitar with the deftness of jazz and the grit of rock-and-roll. He has performed internationally in ensembles including performances with Zakir Hussain, the San Francisco Symphony, the World Guitar Ensemble and his father, composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley. Recent realizations of his own compositions include a solo appearance with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, and performances at Carnegie Hall, Barbican Theatre and Moogfest. This residency inspired Gyan to explore his vocal and songwriting talents for the first time, and to share these new works with our Harrison House audience during his concert performance.
Mark Bulwinkle is a San Francisco Bay Area artist well known for his intricate flame-cut works in galvanized steel. As a favorite artist of Lou Harrison, Mark designed many of Lou’s album covers and posters. He is also the creator of the Harrison House Music & Arts logo and the first artist to design and install a solo art exhibition at Harrison House.
La Zaraguata Band, a group led by Jxel Rajchenberg of The Land Trio and based at Cal-Arts, plays a wide range of traditional and contemporary regional Mexican music. For our event, they were joined by special guest Omar Duran, a gifted musician visiting from Mexico.
The Balinese Gamelan Burat Wangi (Fragrant Offering) was founded at the California Institute of the Arts by Nyoman Wenten (Artistic Director), Nanik Wenten (Dance Director) and K.P. H. Notoprojo (the late prominent Javanese court musician and prolific Indonesian composer) also known as Pak Cokro. It was through the American Society for Eastern Arts program, founded by Sam and Luise Scripps, that Lou Harrison met Pak Cokro and was inspired to dedicate 25 years to building and composing for gamelan instruments. For their residency twenty-five musicians and fifteen dancers created a colorful spectacle of gamelan instruments, costumes, music and dance under the moonlight – performing contemporary as well as traditional music and choreography.