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I believe that music must always relate to the world around us, and a fundamental part of my artistic process is discovering in what ways the music of the past can speak to us today. During my graduate studies, I was drawn to Franz Schubert’s song “Der Wanderer” which struck me as a direct interrogation of the themes of isolation, naturalism, and nationality that appear in many of the works of the time. I began to build a recital program around these themes from the Western European canon.

As I developed the program, I was drawn away from traditional repertoire by the sociopolitical movements of 2020 including Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate. I began to feel tension within my identity as a person of color from a colonized nation and the child of a refugee working as an artist in the European medium of classical music. My artistic center of gravity turned toward the promises made to immigrants: the American Dream, the Great Melting Pot, the New Colossus - and whether or not those promises ever came to fruition.

THE WANDERERS is not about what is left behind. It is about what can be gained in spite of violence, loss, and the enduring trauma.

The project is comprised of works for voice and piano that have never been professionally recorded including Cung Tiền’s Vang vang trời vào xuân, Juliana Hall’s The New Colossus, Aribert Reimann’s Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Paul Celan, and a new commission by Chinese-American composer Randall Eng and Taiwanese-American librettist Melisa Tien. Each set is bookended by a song of Schubert’s, placing into relief the universal desire to belong. The new recording will finally provide audiences the opportunity to experience these singular works of the art song repertoire.

THE WANDERERS will receive its live premiere in Florida on November 3 2023, with plans for additional performances in New York City. We’re currently raising funds for a studio recording in order to make this repertoire available to the general public. Any support makes a difference and is highly appreciated.

Ways to Support

counter codex is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of counter codex must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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