Apollo Chamber Players — We Will Sing One Song with Eve Beglarian & Matthew Detrick
In 2021, the innovative, Houston Texas based Apollo Chamber Players released their fifth studio album — With Malice Toward None, through Azica Records. Taking its title from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, the recording tackles politics, identity, and what it means to be a citizen of a nation balanced between an idealized past and a just and multicultural future.
Prominently featured on the recording is a remarkable work by composer/performer Eve Beglarian titled ‘We Will Sing One Song.’
Characterized by the Los Angeles Times as a “humane, idealistic rebel and a musical sensualist,” Eve Beglarian’s chamber, choral, and orchestral music has been commissioned and performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the American Composers Orchestra, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Apollo Chamber Players, and countless other notable groups and individual performers. Eve Beglarian is here with us along with Apollo Chamber Players violinist and founder Matthew Detrick. Listen to the attached podcast
Eve Beglarian began writing ‘We Will Sing One Song’ while reading ‘The Human Comedy’ by the Armenian-American writer William Saroyan. On this podcast we start back in 2009 or even before to discuss Eve Beglarian’s obsession with the Mississippi River and its impact on the development of American culture. Known as ‘The River Project,’ the Mississippi is one of the defining natural features of the North American continent and you became interested in how our relationship to the nature, geography, and ecology of the river is manifested in music, literature, and all the arts.
Although the journey down the Mississippi has been made and written about by many compelling travelers, perhaps the most famous of which is Mark Twain more than 120 years ago, Eve Beglarian spent a year traveling the whole length of the Mississippi starting from its source in Minnesota, meeting people along the way, recording the sounds of the river, writing music as she traveled and performed in the local communities that she found.
Beglarian draws geographical parallels between the River project which chronicles the Mississippi and ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ which serves as the basis for your piece; ‘We Will Sing One Song.’ The inspiration for the piece, is William Saroyan’s novel, ‘The Human Comedy’ and the moment when a young boy waves at a man on a passing train, who is singing Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home.” The first 5 words of the song is the title of Beglarian’s piece. The first line reading; We will sing one song of the meek and humble slave.
The approximately 18 minute piece features the Apollo Chamber Players along with the Armenian du-duk prodigy; Arsen Petrosyan, Iranian born percussion master; Pejman Hadadi on an array of instruments (tombak, kuzeh, dayereh, bam-dayereh, senj, kanjira), Joan Der-Hov-sepian on viola, and Beglarian’s digital track which serves as the musical bed for the piece.
Produced by Max Horowitz — Crossover Media, This content, as well as the related podcast, are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) for redistribution and adaptation.