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It was Keats 200 years ago who ended “Ode on a Grecian Urn” with the infamous lines:  “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'” We move through our life accepting certain truths, while rejecting others. Today, it seems an insurmountable task to work through the noise of information, both true and untrue. Will exposing truth quell the incessant battery of today’s political climate, or will it merely reveal the greater socioeconomic issues that continue to plague our modern society? In our program titled, “What if the truth is not enough?” earspace collaborates with local artists to explore these questions using music, poetry, tweets from public officials, and visual projections.


Left to right: Clausen, Wolfe, Bandera, Drehoff, Hearne, Kenty

Left to right: Clausen, Wolfe, Bandera, Drehoff, Hearne, Kenty

An important part of the mission of earspace is to bring world-class contemporary music that challenges the status quo and provides audiences with access to contemporary music and artists who are not often performed in the area. We will be presenting the Southeastern US premiere of pieces by Joshua ClausenHowie Kenty, and Carlos Bandera, and we’ve commissioned a string quartet from Baltimore-based composer Richard Drehoff Jr.  earspace has previously performed the music of Ted Hearne and Julia Wolfe, and we are excited to be exploring their chamber works on this program.

Drehoff’s music has been performed across the US and internationally by the Ecce ensemble, the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble, and the Mivos Quartet. His newest work “That has such people in it” explores the parallels of utopic and dystopic societies. The movements, subtitled “utopia” (revised October 2018), “AF632”, and “Yellow Journalism”, are loosely based on the writings of both Sir Thomas More (utopia) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), and investigate the juxtaposition of “fake news” with freedom of the press.


In addition to our many ensemble members, earspace will also be collaborating local artists, working with the award-winning director and projection designer, Francesca Talenti. Based in Hillsborough, NC, Talenti will stage the evening and create interactive lighting and projections to transform the performance space. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and New Music Box, and her designs provide a symbiotic relationship between performers and surrounding environments.

earspace will be collaborating with local poet and spoken word artist William “Endlesswill” Davis in our performance. Davis’ work explores themes of personal growth and the complexities of the human condition, and his weekly radio show “Spoken Stories” brings to life performances by contemporary poets. In combining the elements of a visual component with both musical and spoken narratives, earspace seeks to create a thought-provoking performance for a diverse audience. 


Julia Wolfe: “Early that summer” (1993)
Howie Kenty: “Everybody loves me” (2017, Southeastern US Premiere)
Carlos Bandera: “Spirare” (2018, Southeastern US Premiere)
Richard Drehoff Jr.: “That has such people in it.” (2019, World Premiere, Commissioned by earspace)
Joshua Clausen: “History is going to change” (2015, Southeastern US Premiere)
Ted Hearne: “The Answer to the Question that the Wings Ask” (2016)