by Emmy Hensley
“I’ve been composing things, in a sense, all my life,” cellist and composer Akua Dixon said during a recent interview. “As an African American musician growing up studying classical music, I feel that I can offer a specific view that not many people have thought about.”
Commissioned by CityMusic Cleveland, her string quartet We the People will be premiered on Friday, November 18 at 7:00 pm at Praxis Fiber Workshop by violinists Susan Britton and Eunho Kim, violist Yael Senamaud-Cohen, and cellist Trevor Kazarian.
The free concert, titled “Perspectives for String Quartet,” reflects on the theme of Justice, Equality, and Freedom. The program also includes Arvo Pärt’s Psalom, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s Pisachi (Reveal): Six Epitomes for String Quartet, and Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F.
Writing We the People has served as an opportunity for Dixon to reevaluate what justice, equality, and freedom have meant throughout history. “Everything is a matter of opinion, and there are two sides to each coin,” she said. “When I started thinking about the theme, I looked into the Constitution’s Preamble. I read about the intent of setting up this particular democracy, as well as the interpretation of it by the people who founded it — and those who were not included in it. I feel that it’s a great time to have dialogue and to listen to the side of so many people of color and women — all the people that haven’t had a chance — and what they have to say about these topics.”