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MusicUnitesUS presents: PAN project, an exploration of musical improvisation

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MusicUnitesUS presents: PAN project, an exploration of musical improvisation

Feb. 28, 2017

Continuing its exploration of cross-cultural musical improvisation, MusicUnitesUS presents the international PAN Project in residence at Brandeis from February 27 to March 4.

“PAN Project draws on the rich intercultural music traditions of East Asian instrumental performance, ritual and theater,” says co-founder Jeff Roberts, who earned his doctorate in music composition and theory at Brandeis in 2008. “From there, we add modern influences, drawing on improvisation, Western composition and multimedia technology.”

The ensemble’s name comes from the Korean folk genre p’ansori, which means to gather or come together. “P’ansori is an intense, all-out expression.” says MusicUnitesUS director and professor of the practice Judith Eissenberg. “The members of PAN Ensemble are masters of the most expressive Asian instruments; the combined effect is sonically gorgeous.”

The central importance of nature in Chinese, Korean and Japanese traditions inspires the multimedia work that accompanies the ensemble’s performances. Video projections of movement in nature ― wind on grass, moonlight on water — are controlled by sensors worn by the musicians, changing in response to their movements and also to the pitch and vibrations of their instruments. Field recordings of rain and found objects provide additional texture that is in turn emulated by the ensemble.

The artists will visit classes across campus, open to the public for the residency, encompassing subjects from anthropology to literature to art history. A concert will be held March 4 at 8 p.m. at Slosberg Music Center with a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online, by phone at 781-736-3400, or at the Shapiro Campus Center Box Office.

About the ensemble:

Co-founder Gamin Kang, known professionally as gamin, is one of Korea’s most celebrated performers of the wind instruments piri, taepyeongso and…

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