Music ● Memory ● Ritual - An Electro-Acoustic Composition by Brooklyn based, up and coming composer Ryan Blum-Kryzstal; Written for Bass Clarinet, Flute, Shakuhatchi, Slide Trumpet, Piano, Voice and Computer Software Ableton Live. Samples of oral history, Hebrew and sounds.
Performance was held on Saturday May 15th, 2010 at
The New School
65 West 11th Street in Wollman Hall (5th floor)
Special thanks to Joe Strauss who recorded the voice of my mother, Molly Kristall.
Music ● Memory ● Ritual is an electro-acoustic musical composition based around a recording of the oral history of Ryan Blum-Kryzstal's family told by his mother, a descendant of Holocaust survivors. The composition is centered around the voice of Ryan's mother, as she tells her story of fleeing Europe with her parents after the Holocaust, their journey to America, and the experiences of being Orthodox Jewish refugees in Houston, Texas in the 1950's Jim Crow South. Blum-Kryzstal's mother also shares about the experiences and traumas her parents endured during and after the war and the effects these events had on her family life.
The recording of his mother's voice becomes a conduit for transmitting Jewish cultural memory, designed to exist as a living historical document. The experience of recording the story of his mother inspired Blum-Kryzstal to compose music, poetry, chanting, sound samples and effects as a response to the challenges his family faced, and how they endured. It is a composition of transcendence, ritual and overcoming the gravity of trauma in and throughout our world, through the prism of music.
This composition also seeks to draw focus to current genocides, diasporas and human rights struggles in our world today: Sudan, Darfur, Burma, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda. Even in America, one can see and feel the effects of institutional and environmental racism; classicism, segregation and the insidious undertones of racist perception that are directs symptoms of the disease of slavery. This composition also seeks to bridge the trajectories of what is perceived as "Jewish" music as an amalgam of sounds absorbed from a vast array of traditions: North Africa, Yemen, Bukharia, the Balkans, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, America, Central and Eastern Europe. Blum-Kryzstal's intention is to invigorate, stimulated, educate and activate people from all backgrounds to engage with their own personal history's as doorways to understanding their own lives, and to perhaps use these doorways as a means in creating a more just and peaceful world.
This performance is a culmination of Blum-Kryzstal's work as a BA/BFA student (Dual Undergraduate Degree Program) at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. This work combines various aesthetics ranging from: history, musicology, transmission of culture through oral storytelling, musical composition, poetry and technology.
Mr. Blum-Kryzstal is also a member of 3GNY (3gnewyork.org), an organization of third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors dedicated to preserving the memory of their grandparents stories in light of the gradual passing on of that generation. In an effort to continue telling these family histories to a new generation, 3GNY began a collaboration with an educational group made up of third generation descendants called WEDU. WEDU seeks to enter into classrooms to discuss these personal stories to ensure that the storeis of those who endured the Nazi Holocaust are not forgotten. WEDU also works to draw connections of these stories into contemporary times to enhance awareness and sensitivity with issues surrounding prejudice, racism and genocide. WEDU's mission is to encourage tolerance and awareness to a new generation of young people who may or may not be aware of world events; past and present.
For more information contact Ryan Blum-Kryzstal directly at firstname.lastname@example.org