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Thu, Jul 18


New York

Sky Islands Premiere by Susie Ibarra

World Premiere of Sky Islands featuring Extended Talking Gong Ensemble with Claire Chase (flute) Alex Peh (piano) and Levy Lorenzo and Ibarra (percussion) with Bergamot String Quartet, Ledah Finck and Sarah Thomas (violin) Amy Huimei Tan (viola) and Irène Han (cello) at Asia Society NYC

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Sky Islands Premiere by Susie Ibarra
Sky Islands Premiere by Susie Ibarra

Time & Location

Jul 18, 2024, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM

New York, 725 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021, USA

About the event

July 18 Tickets and Info - 

July 20 Tickets and Info -

Join us for the world premiere of Filipinx composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra's Sky Islands, a musical tribute to our rich and fragile ecosystems inspired by the distinct rainforest habitats of Luzon, Philippines. The piece is composed for Ibarra’s eight-piece music ensemble, including the Extended Filippino Talking Gong Ensemble with Claire Chase on flute, Alex Peh on piano, and Levy Lorenzo and Ibarra on percussion, joined by the four-member Bergamot Quartet comprising violinists Ledah Finck and Sarah Thomas, violist Amy Huimei Tan and cellist Irène Han. The piece features the interlocking rhythms and melodies of Philippine Northern style bamboo, gong, and flute music, performed on new sound sculptures of gong metals titled Floating Gardens. Sky Islands is commissioned by Asia Society, with support from Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, NYSCA, and NYFA Anonymous Was A Woman Environmental Artists Grants.

Sky Islands is a musical call to action, drawing awareness to dwindling biodiversity, changing climate and global community practices. This program is part of the COAL + ICE exhibition and series of programs at Asia Society, Feb. 13-Aug. 11, 2024, designed to provoke thought and action on climate change. 

“Sky islands” are distinct ecosystems at high altitude ranges, known for becoming hotspots for biodiversity and unusual forms of life. Geographically isolated with few or no outside predators, sky islands are home to many species of small mammals that don’t exist anywhere else in the world, making them wondrous areas where we can see evolution “sped up”.

Filipinx composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra was intrigued by the “sky islands” on the mountain tops of rainforests in her home region of Luzon, Philippines, home to the world's largest number of unique mammal species. In her latest musical work commissioned by Asia Society, Ibarra captures, through sound and sculpture, the beautiful and somewhat magical existence of sky islands.

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