Soundings: New Music at the Nasher

Nasher Sculpture Center Announces the 2017-2018 Season of Soundings: New Music at the Nasher


Eighth season of highly-acclaimed concert series brings dynamic line-up of performances to Dallas

DALLAS, Texas (July 27, 2017) – The Nasher Sculpture Center announces the eighth season of the critically acclaimed concert series Soundings: New Music at the Nasher. Beginning in October, the season launches with the same bold and dynamic programming that has made it one of the most celebrated music series in Dallas, and beyond.

This year, the Soundings founder and Yellow Barn artistic director, Seth Knopp, presents a dramatic line-up of four concerts with musicians from around the world, including the world premiere of a water-inspired concert of works that will be shown alongside the 1966 film, Paddle to the Sea and a concert especially dedicated to Soundings friend and supporter, Kay Cattarula.

Paddle to the Sea (World Premiere)
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Third Coast Percussion

The 2017-2018 season of Soundings: New Music at the Nasher begins with the world premiere of Third Coast Percussion’s new performance project based on the classic children’s book (1941) and the Academy Award-nominated film of 1966, Paddle to the Sea. Looking at our relationship to the bodies of water that connect our lives, Paddle to the Sea tells the story of a Native Canadian boy who carves a wooden figure called Paddle-to-the-Sea and sets him on a journey through all five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and finally to the Atlantic Ocean. The story underscores the geographic, economic, and cultural connections formed by our shared waterways, and asks us to consider the human impact on the waters that help us transport our goods, provide our electrical power, bathe ourselves, cook our food, and quench our thirst.

Providing a live “soundtrack” to the film, Paddle to the Sea, Third Coast Percussion performs works inspired by impressions of water and the natural world by Philip Glass, Jacob Druckman, traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, and music of its own, creating a performance that flows seamlessly throughout the course of the film.

This project was the brainchild of Tom Welsh, Director of Performing Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It was developed at Third Coast Percussion’s Yellow Barn Artist Residency in October 2016.

Bach’s Musical Offering
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Music from Yellow Barn

The Musical Offering, Johann Sebastian Bach’s miraculous monument of polyphony, is performed in its entirety and interspersed with Chinese-American composer Lei Liang’s Garden Eight, musical interludes that pay tribute to the Ming Dynasty Yuen Yeh, the earliest and the most exquisite Chinese horticulture treatise. Liang’s connection with Bach is borne out of his fascination with the polyphony found within the single lines that Bach’s creates, at once experienced as melody and as part of underlying harmony. In Garden Eight he explores the possibility of introducing single notes as a polyphonic experience.

Lei Liang is the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2011 Rome Prize, as well as being a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is a Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the rebirth of Manhattan’s Symphony Space in 1978, with its Wall-to-Wall Bach Festival, this concert honors the work of Soundings’ friend, Kay Cattarulla, who currently serves on the Symphony Space board. Kay is also the founder of Selected Shorts, the nationally broadcast literary program which takes places at Symphony Space.

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Benjamin Bagby, vocalist, with an Anglo-Saxon harp

Vocalist, harper, and scholar Benjamin Bagby, brings us the chilling, magical power wielded by the untitled Anglo-Saxon epic poem known as Beowulf in a performance that has been called a “double tour de force of scholarly excavation and artistic dynamism” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The story has its roots in the art of the scop (“creator”), the bardic story-teller of early medieval England who would retell the story of Beowulf in song and speech, accompanying himself on a six-string harp for an audience that would be captivated by the finest details of sound and meaning.

Bagby’s impetus to re-vocalize this medieval text as living art has come from many directions: from the power of those bardic traditions, mostly non-European, which still survive intact; from the work of instrument-makers who have made thoughtful renderings of seventh-century Germanic harps; and from those scholars who have shown an active interest in the problems of turning written words back into an oral poetry meant to be absorbed through the ear/spirit, rather than eye/brain. But the principal impetus comes from the language of the poem itself, which has a chilling, magical power that no modern translation can approximate. 

Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Alexi Kenney, violin

Completed in 1720, Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, remained unpublished until 1802. The central place these works now hold in the violin repertoire is illuminated by a program that pays tribute to Bach’s deep influence on composers of today. Each of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas are represented interspersed with works for solo violin by Steve Reich (b. 1936), Kija Saariaho (b. 1952), Esa-Pekka Salonen (b. 1958), and Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001), in performances by violinist, Alexi Kenney (b. 1994), recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant. 

Season tickets are now available for purchase.
Member: $100; Non-Member: $120; Student/Educator: $40
Individual tickets to each concert will be made available at a later date.

For more information, please visit:

Enhance your Soundings experience by becoming a Friend of Soundings. Friends of Soundings is a special group of Soundings' most dedicated patrons. As a member, you will receive season tickets with reserved seating for the entire season. In addition, you will have the opportunity to align with a select number of passionate patrons to provide invaluable support for this program while engaging with Soundings on a deeper level through exclusive opportunities before and after concerts. Friends of Soundings also supports the Soundings: New Music at the Nasher scholarship fund, which enables the Nasher to provide several area students from various musical disciplines the opportunity to experience Soundings concerts free of charge, as well as fund outreach opportunities with visiting musicians.

For more information and to join Friends of Soundings, please contact Rebecca Watkins at [email protected] or 214.242.5169.

Soundings is supported by Charles and Jessie Price and Kay and Elliot Cattarulla, Aston Martin of Dallas, the Friends of Soundings, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and TACA. Additional support provided by Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger. Media Partner WRR 101.1 FM.

Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street
Dallas, Texas 75201
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