A new year and a new decade, 2020, gives us a chance for reflection. If you’re like me, when I was younger and I envisioned the future, I never thought about 2020 and what it might be like. But as we grew closer to this year, I saw so many meme’s trying to connect the 1920s to the 2020s. There has been this desire to recycle the style and perceived sophistication of the 20s in this new decade.
Next Ensemble partnered with Salt Lake City’s Salty Cricket Composer Collective to have 4 new works composed by local composers to ring in this new year and new decade. These composers, Igor Iachimciuc, Aaron J. Kirschner, Esther Megargel, and Alfonso E. Tenreiro (Ogden local and St. Joe Teacher) were challenged to create new pieces to help bring us into the 2020s. These pieces cover many of the same elements that I’ve been contemplating as I move into this new decade – how do we connect to each other, how does the past influence the future, and how do we find hope when times can feel so dark especially today with the climate emergency, Australia on fire, and heated tension with Iran.
Saturday night, Next Ensemble brings these new compositions to Ogden performed by local musicians at the Union Grill. These incredibly skilled and talented Ogden musicians, Nic Maughan, piano, Gabriel Gordon, violin, Sunny Johnson, viola, and Julie Bevan, cello, will bring these compositions to life.
I’ve been lucky and have listened to a sneak peak of a few of these compositions as Nic Maughan has been preparing for Saturday. I’ll be honest, I’m not a classical music expert in any way and I’m not musically trained, so this isn’t a professional opinion. But these compositions still make me feel. There is a darkness and heaviness to the piano parts I’ve heard. The music sounds heavy, which totally relates to how I feel moving into a new year and decade. The future is unknown and there is a lot of chaotic and dangerous influences impacting our world today, and I could hear it in the music.
I know that these compositions aren’t going to solve all of our world’s problems, but there is something so moving listening to a piece of music that connects to my concerns, fears, and hopes for the future. Listening to these new compositions gives me another way to explore my emotions and thoughts about the future. It makes think about the quote attributed to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” When I listen and experience these new compositions, it expands how I relate to the future and hopefully helps me connect and communicate with my fellow humans a little better.
I highly recommend attending the Next Ensemble New Year New Music concert on Saturday at 6:30pm at the Union Grill. Show your Ogden love by supporting these local composers and musicians. And don’t miss your chance to connect with this music as we move into the 2020s. Buy your tickets today!