With Malice Toward None 1 with Tracy Silverman & Matthew Detrick

On Friday, August 20, 2021, Apollo Chamber Players released their fifth studio album, With Malice Toward None, on Azica Records. The album is a breathtaking collection of globally-inspired compositions and collaborations, with each composer sharing their own personal interpretations of folk music. Works include a title track by Vietnam War-veteran J. Kimo Williams with a performance by electric violinist Tracy Silverman, Pamela Z’s The Unraveling, What is the Word? by Christopher Theofanidis and Mark Wingate, new arrangements of a trio of Armenian folk songs by pioneering Armenian composer Komitas, and Eve Beglarian’s We Will Sing One Song for duduk, string quartet, percussion, and track. The Pamela Z, Theofanidis and Wingate, and Beglarian pieces are part of Apollo’s 20x2020 project, launched in 2014 with a mission to commission 20 new multicultural works before the end of the decade.

Listen to this podcast featuring electric violin master — Tracy Silverman and Apollo Chamber Players Violinist and co-founder Matthew Detrick. The duo will discuss the title track on the album; J. Kimo Williams’ With Malice Toward None along with the Allegretto Groovando based on the Fantasy from Beethoven’s Symphony №7. LISTEN

In J. Kimo Williams’ With Malice Toward None (2020), the composer speaks to the current social and cultural climate we face, taking inspiration from Beethoven, who wished that musical expression could affect change. Carol Williams, the composer’s wife and a social activist and artist, says, “A speech by a politician is not expected to be the equivalent of poetry, or to cast a lasting memory in popular culture; especially not one given 155 years ago. But that is precisely what [Abraham Lincoln’s] phrase, ‘with malice toward none, and charity for all,’ has become. It is the definition of politics seamlessly intersecting with art. So should it be any different from having music intersect with politics? Not for Beethoven, as most students of his music are already aware. Today, there is still a critical need for ‘socially responsible pieces of music’ that can address our human failures with as much hope as it does despair.

We are together here in 2020, facing challenges old and new, internal and external. And we have reached a new low point when a People, born more American than African, have to again demand that the value of their lives be recognized.” The piece is dedicated to the late Civil Rights leader John Lewis and was composed for Apollo Chamber Players and electric violinist Tracy Silverman, who performs on this recording.

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.

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