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The Church of the Ascension
New York, NY
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Church of the Ascension
5th Avenue at 10th Street, New York, NY 10011

Cross Street: West 10th Street
Subways: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to W 4 St-Wash Sq; N, R to 8 St-NYU; 6 to Astor Pl; L to 14 St-Union Sq
Buses: M1, M2, M3, M5 to 5 Av-W 10 St; M8 to W 9 St-5 Av

$20 General Admission
$10 Artists, Students, and Seniors
Free for children under 5
Special $40 VIP tickets include reserved seating and a post-event reception with the artists

Open seating. Arrive early to ensure best seats.
Online ticket sales end at 2pm on September 12, 2012. After this time you may purchase tickets at the door.

The Opening Concert of the Festival features performances by two young and outstanding groups of Asian American musicians in an event dedicated to the festival's mission: to promote artists as agents of change, demonstrating the power of art, and culture to unleash imagination, break down barriers, and connect communities together for the greater good.

New York-based experimental composer, sound artist and vocalist Bora Yoon will present the world premiere of Sunken Cathedral, a site-specific program using instruments ranging from the viola and Tibetan singing bowls to electronics and found objects, to create a tapestry of ethereal sounds that explore the space where sound connects to the subliminal. Riyaaz Qawwali, a group of eight young Asian American male musicians from Austin, Texas, making their New York debut, will in turn offer a program of traditional Qawwali, the enthralling, richly melodic, and rhythmic group-chanting style of Sufi music from South Asia. The artists will close the program with a collaborative piece crafted after months of collaboration.

As the artists express their spiritual devotion through music, the audience is invited to join on a mystical journey of deep listening and gradual exaltation inside the magnificent Church of the Ascension, the oldest church on Fifth Avenue. The event showcases a sliver of the vibrancy that exists in our Asian American artistic community, and in the spirit of the festival provides a platform for a most heartfelt collaboration. Join us on this special occasion as we open the festival and begin twelve days of community building across the city.

Bora Yoon
Bora Yoon creates architectural soundscapes from everyday found objects, chamber instruments, digital devices, and voice. She has toured her original soundwork ( (( PHONATION )) ) internationally, at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Nam June Paik Museum, and universities across the globe.

Riyaaz Qawwali
Riyaaz Qawwali, formed in the winter of 2006 under the leadership of Sonny Mehta, is one of the only American-based ensembles of Qawwali, the Sufi form of devotional music from India and Pakistan that stretches back more than 700 years. Based on mystical poetry about loveof others, and of the divine Qawwali is characterized by sparkling vocals, enthralling rhythms and passionate hand clapping, meant to progressively induce both the musicians and the audience into a state of ecstasy.

The Church of the Ascension
Founded in 1827, the Church of the Ascension was the first church on Fifth Avenue. It was the setting for the marriage of President John Tyler and Julia Gardiner in 1844. Prominent New Yorkers such as August Belmont, William Astor, Frederick de Peyster, and William Rhinelander have been parishioners. Today it is home to a richly diverse parish. Its resident choral ensemble, Voices of Ascension, directed by conductor Dennis Keene, is considered one of the world's best. In 2011, the Church installed the Manton Memorial Organ. With more than 6,000 pipes it is the largest French organ built in almost 50 years.

This event is produced by the Asian American Arts Alliance in association with the Church of the Ascension. This event marks the release of Bora Yoon's new album, Sunken Cathedral, which is made possible by the Sorel Organization.


The Church of the Ascension (View)
Fifth Avenue at Tenth Street
New York, NY 10003
United States


Music > Experimental
Music > Spiritual
Music > World

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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