About the Grant

$25,000 to support Four Contemplations (MAP 2014)
$5,000 to general operating expenses for Community MusicWorks

About the Project

Community MusicWorks is commissioning composer Ken Ueno to create a site-specific work for the Community MusicWorks Players at the RISD Museum in Providence to coincide with the re-dedication of the ten-foot Dainichi Buddha housed there. Encompassing three live performances by Ueno and Community MusicWorks Players and a month-long sound installation in the museum, the project will engage diverse urban communities in contemporary music and ancient Asian art.

Entitled Four Contemplations, the work takes as its subject the RISD Museum's ancient Dainichi Buddha, and is intended for listeners to gain a new and personal relationship to concert music through their experience with the Buddha and Ueno’s ethereal music. Ueno's compositional approach frequently involves extra-musical modeling, including using images, cultural phenomena, or architecture as the basis for structural decisions, somewhat analogous to the use of architectural proportions in Renaissance music. For this project, Ueno will draw upon the foundations of mindfulness in Buddhist theology. The evening-length work for 12 CMW musicians will unfold in multiple movements – solos, duos, trios, and quartets – some accompanied by throat singer (Ueno).

Through our permanent urban chamber music residency, Community MusicWorks has conceived of ways that music can break down traditionally-conceived social barriers in urban life—be they race, language, class, geography. Our performances always seek to engage our students and their families and communities – predominantly low-income, and of Latino, African American, and Southeast Asian descent. Four Contemplations will open the museum experience to these diverse families, who may discover a sense of cultural citizenship in the museum by attending this concert and installation.

Related Websites

Community MusicWorks

Ken Ueno


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