Palaver Strings joins forces with the genre-defying chamber ensemble Warp Trio to present Affirmation. This program centers music and stories that have been suppressed or misrepresented in mainstream media narratives. At the heart of the project is Affirmation, a new concerto grosso for piano trio, percussion, electronics, and strings. Written by Warp Trio’s own Josh Henderson, this piece is inspired by Assata Shakur’s poetry, which, in Henderson’s words, “encapsulates the experiences of Black trauma, chaos, loss, and joy while maintaining a commitment to Black life and living.” Shakur’s writing, the campaign of fear coordinated against her, and her arrest and escape, all find potent echoes in our current political climate. In this age of unprecedented access to truth and misinformation, Affirmation reflects on the struggle for representation, in the concert hall and the world at large.
Affirmation is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Boston Foundation, and the contributions from several generous individuals.
Live Performance Recording | One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME | November 2021
Videography: Yoon S. Byun & Phoebe Potts
Audio: Roland Robitaille
FEATURING Palaver Strings & Warp Trio, Josh Henderson, composition
PROGRAM: Florence Price, 5 Folk Songs in Counterpoint – Mvmts 1 & 3 Akenya Seymour, Fear the Lamb Kareem Roustom, Dabke for String Orchestra Josh Henderson, Affirmation
Palaver Strings is a musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit organization based in Portland, ME. Our mission is to strengthen and inspire community through music. In our musician-led organization, Palaver’s musicians share artistic and administrative leadership, guided by a passion for engaging new audiences, addressing social justice issues, and amplifying underrepresented voices through classical music.