November

Affirmation

Palaver Strings joins forces with the genre-defying chamber ensemble Warp Trio to present Affirmation live at One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine. 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. Our program also features Kareem Roustom’s Dabke for String Orchestra, Florence Price’s Five Folk Songs in Counterpoint, and Akenya Seymour’s Fear the Lamb, which addresses the life and death of Emmett Till in three vivid movements. 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.