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(Image courtesy: Del Sol Quartet)

Del Sol Quartet Launches New Podcast, “Sounds Current”

As part of its Angel Island Project, the award-winning string quartet will release the first season of their new podcast on June 10, 2024


Hosted by founding Del Sol Quartet member Charlton Lee, the Sounds Current podcast is the quartet’s journey of highlighting San Francisco’s Angel Island, a site of detention for Chinese immigrants in the 1900s. 

Alongside special guests, the podcast will explore how compassionate art can enrich a community and lead to a more hopeful future. 

The San Francisco-based quartet’s Angel Island Project officially launched when they received one of the Hewlett Foundation’s 50 Arts Commissions alongside composer Huang Ruo, whose piece “Angel Island – Oratorio,” was premiered by the quartet in 2021, and ultimately inspired Sounds Current.

Ruo’s “Angel Island” draws on the time between 1910 and 1940, when new immigrants entered Angel Island’s immigration station. Chinese immigrants faced discrimination due to America’s earliest racist immigration legislation — the Chinese Exclusion Act, reads the press release.

Many of the immigrants were held at the detention center in brutal conditions and searched for solace by inscribing poetry onto the walls of the center — poems that “Angel Island” brought to life with music. 

Sounds Current traces the journey from Del Sol Quartet’s premiere performances on Angel Island in 2021 to its latest 2024 New York sold-out performances, produced by Beth Morrison Projects at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Del Sol comprises violinists Hyeyung Sol Yoon and Benjamin Kreith, violist Charlton Lee, and cellist Kathryn Bates. They first collaborated with Ruo in 2014 in tandem with a performance of Ruo’s opera Dr. Sun Yat-sen — the first major Western opera to be sung in Chinese.

Since its founding in 1992, the quartet has also commissioned hundreds of works by composers including Terry Riley, Tania León, Frederic Rzewski, Vijay Iyer, Mason Bates, Pamela Z, Chinary Ung, Chen Yi, Andy Akiho, Erberk Eryilmaz, Theresa Wong, and Reza Vali. 

On June 10, Lee and Sounds Current producer, Andrea Klunder from The Creative Impostor Studios, will preview the first episode before its release at the Tribeca Festival’s Official Selection Previews — the podcast is one of four to be nominated for the 2024 Tribeca Festival’s Independent Audio Nonfiction Award.

Bates, and violinists Benjamin Kreith and Hyeyung Sol Yoon serve as co-hosts of the podcast. Executive producers include Donald Fineberg and Andrea Fellows Finberg.

Sounds Current’s season one guests feature Huang Ruo, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation’s Executive Director Ed Tepporn, poet Genny Lim, Angel Island Descendant Andi Wong, and Angel Island State Park Interpreter Casey Dexter-Lee. More guests include Sid Chen, Emiko Ono, Susan Moffat, and Matthew Ozawa.

“We are a quartet that deeply cares about connecting with people through our music, making art that feels relevant to those around us,” said Bates in the press release. “We invite people in, to be part of the process, to dialogue –as individuals, artists, collaborators, thinkers, organizations, communities. It becomes all our artwork, not just mine or yours. The Angel Island community has been working tirelessly for 40+ years to bring this history to international attention. We are proud to add our music-making to this effort, letting it sing out more.”

“Sounds Current introduces the creative minds behind The Angel Island Project and invites listeners to explore what it means to create art that provokes awareness and builds community,” the press release adds. “Through intriguing conversations focused on the untold stories of the island, the quartet bridges a painful history and hopeful present, where community members are currently working to ensure these immigrants’ stories are not forgotten.”

To listen to the podcast, click here.

upcoming events

june 2024

17junAll Day22Primrose International Viola Competition(All Day) Colburn School, 200 S Grand AveEvent Type :competitions Event TagsPrimrose International Viola Competition,Primrose Viola CompetitionFOLLOW

july 2024

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello CompetitionFOLLOW


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