Welcome to Ensemble Companio’s 2022-2023 concert season, I flow / I AM. This season’s program takes its name from the final poem of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus (1922), a collection dedicated to the mythological Greek bard and prophet who famously descended into the underworld to rescue his beloved Euridice. The power of his music pacified the chthonic beings he encountered there, but he was ultimately unable to bring Euridice back to the mortal world. He looked back – she was lost. The Orphic myths speak to both the poignant fragility of the human condition and the singular power of art (and of love) to sustain the spirit through all trials.
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
The repertoire featured in I flow / I AM navigates polarities of faith and doubt, refuge amidst/within change, the permeability of self and Other, our inevitable mortality, and the vast creative potential of the unknown. Featuring thought-provoking works spanning four centuries, program highlights include Sydney Guillaume’s masterpiece Le Dernier Voyage, excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude, shorter works by Moira Smiley, Adolphus Hailstork, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, among others. This season also features the Northeastern premiere of Melissa Dunphy’s I Am The World, and on March 25, a collaborative performance with the RPI Concert Choir under the direction of Robert Whalen.
My quiet friends, I hope that this season’s program offers you the refuge you need to become the mystery in your own uncontainable nights.
Yours, with love,
Dr. Erik Peregrine (they/them)