The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE musical performances focus on humanity, unity

By Danilynn Welniak/ne news editor

Inspired by the International Festival, Yom Hashoah and Earth Day, NE assistant music professor Edwardo Perez will perform his own three musical pieces April 14 and 21.

His performance Opus 12 is composed of three pieces: Six Pictures, Five Elements and Eukaryote (2N=46).

“I chose the title of Opus 12 for the concert because all three works being presented relate to the same basic principle of humanity,” he said.

The Jewish holiday of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) falls on April 21 this year, and it is this occasion that initially inspired Perez to compose the piece Six Pictures.

“Each picture is a representation of a different stage of existence for Jewish people during the holocaust: ghetto, train, camp, prisoner, chamber, death march,” he said.

Since the title indicates something visual and because of the intense subject matter, Perez thought he needed more than music to express himself. Therefore, he decided to create an oil painting to complement the music.

“I also felt that I needed words, so I wrote six poems in English based on poetry that I read from holocaust survivor Alexander Kimel. Then, I asked a former music student of mine, Leah Salstrand, to translate them into Hebrew,” he said.

“I then decided that a string quartet would give me the best musical expression that I wanted, and the piece became a work for tenor voice and string quartet.”

The second piece was inspired by Earth Day, which falls on April 22. Five Elements explores the element aether (ether) alone and then the traditional elements of earth, wind, fire and water.

The third piece Eukaryote (2N=46) was written specifically for the International Festival.

“The topics of race and genocide figure prominently in the International Festival, and I used these two topics as inspiration for this piece,” he said.

“ The title of the piece refers to a description of a human being as being a eukaryote (living organism) with 23 pairs of chromosomes.”

With the help of his wife, NE art instructor Suzanne Perez, Perez decided to create paintings for all three pieces.

“I studied painting when I was a child, but it’s been at least 25 years since I’ve painted anything,” he said. “However, my wife, who is an accomplished painter, has been a great help in educating me on things such as which brush to use, how to mix colors and how to conceive of the painting in terms of history and artistic style.”

Perez hopes anyone who attends his concert will take away a “thought” in reaction to the experience.

“We have seen human beings commit unfathomable atrocities on each other in the course of history,” he said. “But we have also seen humans display the most intense compassion for one another. All my concert is intending to do is to ask the audience to think about what it is that makes us human.”

Opus 12 will be performed 6:30 p.m. April 14 and 6 p.m. April 21. Both performances will take place in NCAB College Hall. Admission is free.

For more information, e-mail Perez at edwardo.perez@tccd.edu.

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