The iconic painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso was a response to a horrific bombing of a town by that name in the Basque section of Spain during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Eighty years later, members of Ensemble for These Times will be commemorating both the tragedy and the art it inspired, with a concert called The Guernica Project at Noe Valley Ministry this Saturday night.

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There’s more information about the concert at the Ensemble for These Times website.

E4TT is soprano Nanette McGuinness, pianist Dale Tsang, and composer David Garner – with guest artists cellist Anne Lerner-Wright (for the season) and violinist Dawn Harms (for this performance). They put out a call to composers for works, and were inundated. “In our call for scores, we did our first one Dec-Jan 2015-16. We got 275 scores, we were totally amazed, and we picked 56 to do over the next two seasons,” McGuinness says. “One of the composers whose works we really liked was Jeffrey Hoover, whose Burning Giraffe was one of those pieces.” They thought he would be a good match for the Guernica piece. “we were looking for a composer who could respond to imagery, or who did that kind of ‘call and response’ because we wanted a call and response program, and that was the call. Based on the fact that his Burning Giraffe is a response to the Salvador Dali Burning Giraffe painting, and that he himself is a painter as well as a composer and writes that way. Not all his works, but he sometimes even does paintings in response to the music he’s writing in response to something else.”

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