Imaginary Boundaries

Celebrating Multiculturalism in America through Music

A program of commissions from multicultural composers in America whose music reflects their unique life experience.

In an effort to promote positivity around multiculturalism in America, we launched Imaginary Boundaries in 2020. The project involves ongoing commissions of compositions from accomplished composers of various cultural backgrounds. With a limited repertoire for our instrumentation, the project also serves to increase meaningful repertoire for clarinet and guitar.

Upcoming Commissions:

Derrick Spiva, Jr. – Spiva has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Resident Composer 2019/20), LA Master Chorale, Berkeley Symphony, and more. His piece will draw heavily from his knowledge of and ancestral ties to West African music, utilizing Malian guitar rhythms and influence from other instruments including the Kora – a traditional West African stringed instrument.

Sato Matsui – A Fulbright Scholar, Charles Ives Scholarship and Juilliard CV Starr Doctoral Fellowship winner, Matsui specializes in composing for chamber ensembles. This commission will draw from traditional sonorities of her home country of Japan as well as her training as a classical violinist.

Adam del Monte – One of the leading Flamenco and classical guitarist/composers of his generation, this commission will be written for Flamenco Guitar and will utilize Klezmer clarinet melodies, reflecting Adam’s Israeli Jewish heritage and his childhood living in Granada, Spain with Flamenco families.

Olga Amelkina Vera An award-winning composer and guitarist, Amelkina-Vera’s commission will involve traditional rhythms and melodies from her childhood country of Belarus, while venturing into new musical territory that reflects her immigration to the USA in 1997.

Akshaya Tucker – Dedicated to connecting the musical traditions of India and the West, Tucker will use her decades of experience with Indian culture, music, and dance to synthesize both traditions into layered meditative textures inspired by the rhythmic patterns of Odissi footwork.

Miguel del Aguila – Funding from another source will be used to commission GRAMMY-nominated Uruguayan composer del Aguila, who is known for rhythmic and engaging compositions that represent his Latin-American heritage.

Current Commissions:

Shahab Paranj – Kamantar

Known for championing Persian classical music and culture throughout the world, Paranj’s piece “Kamantar” aims to unite Western texture and form with Persian rhythms and melodies. The piece employs elements of microtonalism, with the guitar adding an extra fret to include quarter sharps. It also contains complex rhythms and extended techniques used to imitate the sounds of traditional Persian percussion and melodic instruments, including the instruments inspired by the piece’s namesake: the Kamancheh, a bowed instrument, and the Tar, a lute-like plucked instrument.


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