Water is Life – For Flint

The top of a water tower at the Flint Water Plant is seen in Flint, Michigan

The top of a water tower at the Flint Water Plant is seen in Flint, Michigan January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

This Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 5:30 – 11:00am EST, Classical  Discoveries presents:

Water is Life – For Flint – WPRB Radio Broadcast

As I was flipping through images for a possible Valentine special knowing that most likely everyone will focus on same subject, I stumbled on a picture that caused me to change my focus.

It was a picture of thick, almost brown compressed water coming out of a faucet in Flint MI, forming a thick residue in the shape resembling a heart – yes, in the shape of a heart.
flint-water-top-compressed

At this point, I knew that my Valentine special would be different and would be about water and how this most important source of our life inspired so many composers.

It will be a radio tribute to the people of Flint and to all others who have had their life destroyed because of fracking, oil and sludge spills and other environmental disasters caused by humans.
Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water and up to 60% of the human adult body is made of water.
My heart goes out to the people of Flint and I am outraged that elected officials knowingly deprived a whole town of basic clean water in the name of the almighty dollar and possibly damaging them for life.
My heart goes out especially to children whose life may be ruined due to this horrific event. The lack of action to solve this problem by the people that caused this horrific crime is inexcusable and criminal! All involved should be prosecuted!

This is why this week’s Classical Discoveries special is called “Water is Life – For Flint” The show will be totally devoted to works inspired by different forms of water.
I know that this will not help Flint but I just want to remind people that it is very easy to pollute and destroy a life on our planet.

Here is a list of some of the works to be presented this Wednesday:
Become Ocean by American composer John Luther Adams (1953- )
In Hydraulis
by Franco-Flemish composer Antoine Busnoys (c.1430-1492)
Les Fleuves engloutis pour orchestre (The Rivers Engulfed, for orchestra)
by Franco-Lebanese composer Bechara EL-Khoury (1957- )
Four Pieces About Water
(Running Water, Salt Water, Frozen Water, Rain Water) by Canadian composer Emily Doolittle (1972- )
Symphony No. 63 “Loon Lake” by American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000)
Water Music by American composer Libby Larsen (1950- )
Hafis (Drift Ice) Op. 63 by Icelandic composer Jón Leifs (1899-1968)
Living Waters by American composer Peter Lieuwen (1953- )
Dark Waters by American composery Ingram Marshall (1942-)
I Hear The Water Dreaming by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)
Future of Water by Australian composer Julian Yu (1957- )
Like Streams in the Desert by American composer Meira Warshauer (1949- )
as well works by composers: Douglas Knehans, Karen Tanaka, Lois V Vierk
and more works inspired by water

You can listen to the program on the radio in NJ, parts of PA, Delaware and NY at: WPRB 103.3FM Princeton NJ, or on the Internet at: http://www.wprb.com/

For Internet listeners link to excellent Time Zone Converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzc.tzc
If you are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1556090024704481/

Please check the Classical Discoveries website a few days before the event for more details at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/
After the broadcast MP3 file will be available for limited time at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/index_02_10_2016_temporary_file.html

Water (chemical formula: H2O) is a transparent fluid which forms the world’s streams, lakes, oceans and rain, and is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms. Water is a liquid at standard ambient temperature and pressure, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice; and gaseous state, steam (water vapor). It also exists as snow, fog, dew and cloud.Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. It is vital for all known forms of life. Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrient (per Wikipedia)http-_www.tangentcompany.com_world-water-day-celebrate-learn-share_

In The Shadow of Mount Ararat

My knowledge of the Armenian Genocide was very limited until I met Alan Hovhaness and his last piano protege, Shoghere Markarian in the early 1980’s.

_mount-ararat

Mount Ararat

Christmas Eve 1997 with Shoghere

Christmas Eve 1997 with Shoghere

Shoghere and I became close friends until she passed away in 2007. A gifted pianist adored by Hovhaness, she premiered many of his piano works. She was also a teacher, the correspondent for the now defunct weekly, The Armenian Reporter, and a connoisseur of classic literature. Shoghere was obsessed with the Armenian painter Arshile Gorky and his incredible poetic letters to his sister Vartoosh, who like Komitas, (composer that greatly influenced Hovhaness) was scared for his life by the Armenian Genocide.

In the 1990’s she embarked on a mission to present these letters to a wider audience. I received invitations several times from her to perform solo piano works of Alan Hovhaness between her letter readings and to also play music for four hands (also of Hovhaness) with her.  During Shoghere’s readings I also improvised quietly in the background in Hovhaness’s style which was a total joy!  One of most notable performances we did was in 1996 during the Contemporary Armenian Artist Art Exhibition in Boston.

Poster

Contemporary Armenian Artist Art Exhibition in Boston

She also introduced me to singing of wonderful soprano Lusine Zakaryan.

I remember when in late 1999, during one of our casual meetings, she give me a CD titled “Oratorio In Memory of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide 1915” by Khachatur Avetisyan. Two weeks later I broadcast the complete work on my weekly program Classical Discoveries with a repeat presentation in 2010.

As a reporter she was present in 2002 at The Armenian National Committee meeting discussing the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and felt that it was important to the world to remember what happened.

Armenian

The Armenian Reporter May 04, 2002

Of course, my contact with Armenian communities was not limited to Hovhaness and Shoghere. From the time I recorded 2 CD’s of his music, I have performed many recitals organized by Armenian organizations as far as in Chicago.

Armenian music is often featured on Classical Discoveries. I have presented, for example, 2 operas by Armen Tigranian; Anoush and David-Beg, and many compositions by one the great Armenian composers, Avet Terterian, who is sadly little known here in the western hemisphere. To show how times have changed, I remember hearing Terterian’s music for the first time in the afternoon on WNCN, a wonderful commercial station from New York which is now sadly gone.

The strange thing is that I never presented a full program devoted to Armenian music, not counting programs and the special 24 hour Marathon devoted to Hovhaness – the American composer whose love for the music of his father’s homeland earned him a permanent place in the hearts of all Armenians.

As I am preparing my special program I cannot help to think about Shoghere and how happy and very proud of me she would be. I am dedicating this program to her memory and to those who lost their lives during the purge 100 hundred years ago.

Here are some details:

Program will air:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 5:30 through 11:00am
WPRB 103.3FM Princeton NJ, or on the Internet at: http://www.wprb.com/

 April 24, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, one of the worst in history where about 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire perished between 1915 and 1923.
In observance of the 100th anniversary of the genocide, I will present a whole program devoted to music by Armenian composers and by composers of Armenian descent titled “In the Shadow of Mount Ararat.”
One of the main features of the program will be the “Oratorio In Memory of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide 1915” by Khachatur Avetisyan

arm

Check Classical Discoveries website a few days before the event for more details at:
http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/

You can join Classical Discoveries Event on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/events/1394051834249938/

You will find playlist after the broadcast at:
http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/playlists_2015_01.html#0422

Listen to archived program till May 10, 2015 at:
http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/index_music.html#0422

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