CrossSound to bring world music to Juneau

Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009

For the next two weekends, CrossSound music festival will bring east-meets-west string music to Juneau.

Courtesy Of Jocelyn Clark
Courtesy Of Jocelyn Clark

The festival will bring together to very different sounds, that of traditional Asian instruments the zheng, kayagum and koto in the band IIZ+ and that of a Western string quartet with UnitedBerlin.

It starts with individual performances by the two groups this weekend.

On Friday, Aug. 28 Yi-Chieh Lai will give a recital, "Transformations" at 7:30 p.m. at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

Yi-Chieh Lai is from Taiwan and plays the zheng, a 21-stringed Chinese zither. Her first album, "Transformation" was a finalist for the Golden Melody Award, a annual music award in Taiwan similar to our Emmys.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, UnitedBerlin will present "Tango!", also at 7:30 p.m. at the JACC.

The string quartet UnitedBerlin was formed in 1989 in Berlin, Germany. It features Andreas Brautigam and Stephan Kalbe on the violin, Jean-Claude Velin on the viola and Lea Rahel Bader on the cello.

On Sunday, Aug. 30, IIIZ+ (three zee plus) will perform "Goblin's Lagoon" at 4 p.m. at the JACC.

IIIZ+ is a plucked zither ensemble founded in 2001 by CrossSound director, Jocelyn Clark, with Yi-Chieh Lai on the zheng; Naoka Kikuchi on the koto, a 13-string zither from Japan; Clark on the kayagum, a 12-stringed zither from Korea and Il-Ryun Chung with percussion.

While both bands were founded in Germany, UnitedBerlin and IIZ+ have performed all over the world.

Then, on Sept. 3 and 4, the main show "Refugium" will hit the JACC. The Sept. 3 show is a pay-as-you can preview for the second night. The Sept. 4 show will start at 8 p.m. after a conversation with the composers at 7 p.m.

"Refugium" consists of six pieces: the world premiere of "East-West V" by Hwang-Long Pan for both IIIZ+ and UnitedBerlin; "Texture Mapping" a piece for kayagum and string trio by Yunkyung Lee; "KwangYa - Five Korean Dances" for changgu and string quartet; "Trio" performed by IIIZ+; "Fragments from Cold" a piece by Alaskan composer and CrossSound director, Matthew Burtner for cello and computer and "Moments in Human Life" a world premiere with both IIZ+ and UnitedBerlin.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 and festival passes are $60 for adults and $50 for students. For more information about CrossSound, IIZ+ and UnitedBerlin visit

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