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On July 5, 2015 I was invited to speak at Church of the Covenant in Boston, as a precursor to a Benefit Community Sing/Play In and Concert for Students in Afghanistan on July 17th. These are the notes from my talk. In October of 2010, during my second year of study at New England Conservatory, I got an email from a friend, Robin Ryczek who was living in Kabul, Afghanistan. Robin had taken a year off from her MM at NEC to teach at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and one of her first tasks there was to organize a Winter Music Festival. I, along with several other Boston-based musicians, was invited to attend. It was almost November when we got our official invitations, and I was concerned about the rush needed to get visas and plane tickets in time for a December festival. But when I suggested to […]
Available for purchase on June 23rd!!!!! Click here to sign up for my newsletter! Eden MacAdam-Somer – voice, violin, viola, percussive dance My First Love Story introduces the solo work of one of New England Conservatory’s newest faculty members and one of the most dynamic young artists performing today: composer, performer, and improviser Eden MacAdam-Somer. Recorded live in NEC’s Jordan Hall, this album is an incredible blend of contemporary and traditional art, moving fluidly between Appalachian folk song and cutting edge classical performance. The CD will be released June 23, 2015 on A-Side Records.
I wrote this note shortly after a suicide bombing took place in Kabul on December 11. This, sadly, is no rare occurrence in Kabul these days, nor, indeed, in many parts of the world, but it came close to home for me, because several of my students and colleagues from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music were there. As I talked over the event with friends, questions about our tolerance for violence came up: why are we vocal about violence overseas, but less so when it is right in our own backyards? More importantly, we began a serious discussion about our ability, as artists, to speak out and call for change. If we can strengthen the community around us, surely this will facilitate change. So this note is really the beginning of my thoughts in moving towards that goal… On Thursday December 11, a bomb was detonated at the French […]
This is my last night in Kabul, my second home, for the summer, and my heart is breaking a little bit at having to say goodbye. There is a nearly full moon large above the mountains and the city is settling in for the night. An ice cream cart comes by, playing its usual “Happy Birthday” song, and children are wrapping up their football (soccer) game across way. The wind gently shakes the leaves on the aspen trees. I am at peace. Reconnecting with my students was wonderful, as always. The ANIM feels more and more like the performing arts high school that I attended, bubbling over with ideas and bands and plans and enthusiasm. My older students and some of the junior faculty are working on everything from western classical music to arrangements of Led Zeppelin and traditional Afghan folk songs. They are great mentors from the younger students, and […]
I am sitting in my hotel room, drinking tea and listening to the Canote Brothers’ “Obama’s March to the Whitehouse,” recovering from jet lag, checking email and catching up on some administrative work for the fall. I have a couple of charts to write for tomorrow as well, since I have two concerts this week. In other words, it is a pretty typical evening in my life as a musician. Two days ago I arrived in Kabul, where I will spend a couple of weeks collaborating and teaching at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM). This is my fourth visit to the ANIM, but my first time here in the summer season. The city is all of the shades of June green, ornamented vividly with roses blooming along the sidewalks and in the city parks. It is hot and dry, the perfect weather for open windows and dining outdoors. […]