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Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and Inbal Segev Perform the Midwest Premiere of Vijay Iyer's Human Archipelago

Feb. 15, 2023

On February 25, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and cellist Inbal Segev perform the Midwest premiere of Vijay Iyer's Human Archipelago under the baton of Stilian Kirov.

The composer notes:

"Human Archipelago uses the concerto format to stage a series of precarious encounters among the soloist, the orchestra, and the “travelers,” a group of performers who play only by ear. The first movement, “Scenes in Free Fall,” sets a single melody in a series of unstable environments; the next, “Xenia,” imagines a blessed visit from strangers; and the last, “Being one of many,” builds a fugue-like collective polyphony before giving way to a coda where the soloist and travelers unite. 

This piece was born of our evolving relationship to two urgent, entangled global phenomena: climate change and mass migration. It is my hope that the music might offer an opportunity to reflect on our ethical responsibilities to our fellow human beings in the present and future — indeed to rethink our very notion of “us.” 

I am grateful to Inbal Segev for initiating this project and believing in my work; to Teju Cole and Peter Sellars, who helped me feel my way through the ideas; and to all of the performers for embodying the music with virtuosity and grace."

Human Archipelago is part of New Music USA's Amplifying Voices program, which is powered by the Sphinx Venture Fund, with additional support from ASCAP, the Sorel Organization, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and Wise Music and The Wise Family Charitable Foundation. The Amplifying Voices program is a nationwide effort to increase the support and promotion of under-represented composers.

To learn more about Vijay Iyer, visit:

Vijay Iyer 
Human Archipelago (2022)
concerto for cello and orchestra
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