The 2016–2017 collaboration between SFEMS and the California Jazz Conservatory concludes on Sunday, May 14, with a concert by Vajra Voices with medieval string specialist Shira Kammen and composer-cellist-vocalist, Theresa Wong. Their program, “Remembered Migrations: Medieval to Modern Song” features 12th-c. women composers, including Hildegard von Bingen and Marie de France, with related modern stories of our musical and birth mothers. The medieval art of sung poetry—by heart—closely joins improvisation and composition which we will explore in the world premiere of Theresa Wong’s composition for Vajra Voices, To Burst To Bloom, a collection of songs set to the poems of 12th Century Taoist Immortal Sun Bu’er.
The women’s vocal ensemble Vajra Voices sings medieval to modern music in a clear, sweet, and strong style inspired by Hildegard von Bingen. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for performances of “heartfelt elegance,” Vajra Voices debuted at the Berkeley Festival in 2010. The ensemble’s recording O Eterne Deus: Music of Hildegard von Bingen was released on the Music & Arts label this year. Vajra Voices has collaborated on performances with many artists in the Bay Area, most notably choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, and Oakland Ballet Company.
For this concert, the ensemble, directed by Karen R. Clark, will include Allison Zelles Lloyd, Amy Stuart Hunn, Lindsey McLennan Burdick, Juliana Urban, soprano; Cheryl Shafer Moore, Celeste Winant, mezzo soprano; and Karen R. Clark, contralto; joined by Shira Kammen, medieval harp & vielle; and special guest, Theresa Wong, composer-cellist-vocalist.
The concert takes place at the California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St between Shattuck and Milvia in downtown Berkeley. The venue is one block from downtown Berkeley BART and parking is easily available at the Addison St parking garage. Sunday street parking is free and also relatively easy on a Sunday afternoon. CJC offers a casual and intimate environment where the audience can enjoy a light meal and sip a glass of wine or a cup of coffee while enjoying the concert.