Daniel Asia (b. 1953, Seattle, WA) is one of a small number of composers who have traversed both the realms of professional performance and academia with equal skill. As testament to this he is a 2010 recipient of a major American Academy of Arts and Letters award. Elliott Hurwitt writes in a Schwann Opus review of the composer’s music, “Daniel Asia is a genuine creative spirit, an excellent composer… He is a welcome addition to the roster of our strongest group of living composers.” Asia is recognized as one of THE composers of this new classical music era.
The three works on this CD were written over a twenty-five year period. They look at the human experience through Jewish texts: a Jewish sacred text, and the poems of a New York Jewish poet and an Israeli Jewish poet. This is to say that we all have prisms through which we mediate our understanding of the world and our place in it. In the beginning God spoke the world into being, and we humans continue to formulate the world through our verbalization of it. Musicians do this through that articulation of sound which compliments words, gives them depth, and color. In the compositions presented here, words and music unite to let us feel…
These pieces aim for a sense of honesty in that regard, of who we are, how we live, and evokes the incipient Meaning that underlies human existence.
Psalm 30, a song for the dedication of the house, is about transformation from fear and trepidation to one of belief in the powers and wonder of God. Psalm 30 was written for Jack Chomsky, baritone, and first performed by him, Daniel Heifetz, violin, and J. Randal Hawkins, piano on April 13, 1986.
The poems of Breath in a Ram’s Horn range from the sublime to the mundane, from the sacred to the profane. The texts are by Paul Pines.
Amichai Songs is comprised of poetry by the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, Israel’s most prominent modern poet. The texts present an intriguing view of the modern Jewish Israeli experience.