Harmony of Rhythms features young musicians from Portland Kalai Kuzhu playing parai drums, one of the oldest instruments in India but one that, until now, has not been heard often in the West. In India the parai is usually traditionally played on the occasion of a death, when it is played as a sendoff for the deceased. This is the first time the parai has appeared in a musical fusion with Japanese taiko drums played by Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe (Unit Souzou) and Latin-Afro drums played by Mimy Manavihare.
I Am An American Live is a collection of pan-Asian music highlighting traditional Asian instruments backed by Western classical harmonies. Featuring intriguing combinations of musical sounds never heard before, it is performed by an eclectic group of musicians who came together just for the occasion of a single concert, “I Am An American Live”, in the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts in Beaverton, OR on May 6, 2022.
All of these pieces were composed and arranged by Balamurali Balu (Bala), a well-known composer and music producer who writes music for the Tamil film industry in southern India.
This unique music, which represents the blending of some of the most ancient musical traditions and instruments of Asia to create something new, celebrates the rich cultures brought to the United States by multiple generations of Asian Americans.
I Am An American Live is a production of The Immigrant Story as a part of its Live productions.