February 5, 2018

Francesca D’Annunzio

View the full article on THE DAILY TEXAN here.

Every year, artists of all genres travel from far and wide to perform at South by Southwest. One of these groups, Sangat!, is flying in from Karachi, Pakistan, where music is not taught in public schools and is banned on public transportation.

Sangat is a multicultural and transnational music ensemble comprised of members of the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi, Pakistan, and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. Sangat’s name is Sanskrit for “a coming together,” which is fitting given the transnational nature of the group.

Sangat’s compositions incorporate Pakistani raga-based music with folk elements from different regions of the country, such as Sindh and Balochistan, as well as instruments and qualities from other genres, such as blues, jazz, Sufi Qawwali and reggae. Comprised of both NAPA and UT faculty, the group resides in both Karachi and the Austin area.

“The overall message (of the music) is one of diversity and inclusion,” Seeman said. “This is really what music is about. It’s about bridging across religious differences.”

The News – International

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Haneen Rafi: Dawn.com

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“KARACHI: Shakespeare said it best – ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’ And the concert titled ‘Sangat’ took this thought forward at the Beach Luxury Hotel on Thursday where a stellar ensemble comprising musicians from across borders came together as one.”

The News – International

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“The programme is bringing together musicians and faculty from across the world. For the shows, they have come up with original scores that have been very well received,” said Kamran, who is an anthropologist and director of the South Asia Institute at UT Austin.

The News – International

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“The university partnership highlights our efforts to develop musical talent in Pakistan, while building people-to-people ties between our two nations,” said Consul General Heath. “This performance shows the power of music and culture to bring people together.”

Khyber News

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The partnership between NAPA and UT Austin, which began in 2013, is a three-year grant totaling nearly $1 million. The grant promotes ties between UT’s Butler School of Music and NAPA’s music program. The aim is to help Pakistanis with music composition, music theory, orchestration, piano, voice, string instruments, and conducting. It also promotes ties between music instructors and faculty at UT and NAPA.

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Lee University Press
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See Summer 2014 CBDNA Report (page 19) here.

The concert will feature compositions from five composers. The ensemble will open the concert with Claude T. Smith’s “Festival Variations,” written in 1985 for the United States Air Force Band. Its technical passages coupled with romanticism ranks it as one of the monumental compositions of the 20th century for winds and percussion.

The ensemble will also present the Tennessee premiere of “Somnia Mortem,” composed by Franklin Piland, a 23-year-old student of Donald Grantham at the University of Texas. The piece was inspired by the poetry of Khalil Gibran.

A familiar name, but an unfamiliar work, takes center stage in the concert with Gustav Holst’s “Moorside Suite.” This three-movement work is a masterwork of Holst’s maturity. Written in 1928, six years before his death, it achieves a synthesis of his creative talent as a composer with the folk-song influences of 20 years earlier.

Betty Williamson: Portales News-Tribune

We have a young composer in our midst with a name to remember: Franklin Piland.

At the annual ENMU Pops Concert on Saturday night, Franklin conducted the premiere performance of a piece he wrote for the event, a rousing opener called “Flourishes and Mechanations.”

An enthusiastic ovation rewarded the 2008 graduate of Muleshoe High School who will receive his degree in music performance in May from Eastern New Mexico University.

Franklin is a prolific composer with a number of completed works and many more in progress.

“I believe somewhere deep down in my soul that I was meant to compose,” he says.

Even as he applies to graduate schools in other states, he remains profoundly grateful that ENMU music department chair Dustin Seifert recruited him to the Portales campus five years ago.

The two met when Franklin was tuba player in the Clovis Community Band that Seifert conducted.

“He is the largest part of why I have been successful in anything at Eastern, whether it is tuba, composition, or academics,” Franklin said. “I cannot find the words that adequately describe his sacrifice and support. I am so tremendously thankful our paths crossed.”Can a world-class composer get his start on the High Plains?For Franklin Piland, the answer may well turn out to be “yes.”

Betty Williamson doesn’t usually seek autographs, but she is thinking of making an exception. You may reach her at pepnm@hotmail.com.

Jillian Holbert: Portales News-Tribune
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For her recital, Bates will be performing piece from the Baroque and Romantic musical eras as well as a piece from ENMU student composer Franklin Piland. According to Piland, his piece, “The Island,” was influenced by Irish-folk music and will feature the flute as well as a brass and percussion section.
 
“When most composers write music, they write for an individual or they’re thinking of that person in their head,” Piland said.
 
“So it becomes a very personal connection between the composer and performer.”