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World Premiere of Kamran Ince's Meditation and Gratitude

Nov. 01, 2018

World Premiere of Kamran Ince's <em>Meditation and Gratitude</em>

On November 18, Present Music and the Hearing Voices vocal ensemble present the world premiere of Kamran Ince's Meditation and Gratitude at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee. The work was commissioned by Present Music for Kevin Stalheim's last season as the ensemble's Artistic Director, celebrating and expressing gratitude for Stalheim's many years of immense contributions to new music in the United States and the world. Ince discusses his new work:

"Meditation and Gratitude (2018) was commissioned by John Shannon and Jan Serr for Present Music's (Milwaukee) very special last season under the artistic direction of Kevin Stalheim. 
I am extremely grateful to John and Jan as they have commissioned many works from me for Present Music. Their generosity has been instrumental in helping my creative relationship prosper with Kevin and the ensemble for over twenty five years. The work was written to celebrate, and to show gratitude, to Kevin's many years of immense contributions to new music in the United States and the world.

Meditation and Gratitude will be premiered at Present Music’s annual Thanksgiving concert at Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee on November 18th. I wanted to work with the themes of gratitude, giving, spirituality and meditation.  I strived to do this without referencing a particular religion. After much searching for a suitable text I decided upon one I compiled from various sayings and poems of the great mystic Mevlana Jelaladdin Rumi (1207-1273). The work is for soprano(s), alto(s) and ten instruments. Most of it is built on maqams (modes) of Turkish Sufi and Ottoman music weaving in and out of each other. Many textures are heterophonic, raising and falling with the spirits of the prayers and trans-like states they convey. With the text evolving into an invitation for all to join (Come, come whoever you are…), the music becomes more and more celebratory. The entire journey takes 18 minutes."

Listen to Kamran Ince's Flight Box (2001) for chamber ensemble here:

(Flight Box/Kamran Ince/Present Music Ensemble/Kevin Stalheim, conductor)

For more information on Kamran Ince, visit

Kamran Ince
Meditation and Gratitude