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