From Jenny Q Chai:

What is Love? Is it the opposite of Fear? Do we want to live under the system of fear, or love?

The narrative for this program comes from my personal experience of being – and surviving – in Paris during the massacre on Nov. 13, 2015. With that experience, I have come one step closer to terrorism, fear, hatred and division between people…a terrible, hurtful place.

But in my meditations following this experience, my conclusion is that fear is the first act of war. And what does war bring? Fear and war cannot teach peace; only love can create and nourish real, abiding peace in the world.

So in this program I choose to explore Love and Strength, the positive energy and warm feelings one has, when all fearful barriers of self-defense are dropped, and one’s heart is open and vulnerable.

It is my hope and aim through this program to remind audiences (and myself) that even though there has always been war throughout centuries, there has also always been the sustaining, inspiring, nourishing power of Love and Strength.

From the beauty and spiritual resilience explored in Marco Stroppa’s miniatures, to the lovely “games” of Kurtág’s Játékok, to the achingly beautiful poetry in the Ives, Cage, and Matthew Aucoin works, this repertoire explores a wide range of what is truly beautiful in the dynamic, delicate, deeply strong human spirit.


Works to be included on “The Love We Are” include:

Marco Stroppa, Selections from Miniature Estrose (Birichino, Tangata Manu)
György Kurtág, Selections from Játékok (including Perpetuum mobile, Flowers We Are, Frail Flowers (1a), Fugitive thoughts about the Alberti bass, and others)
Matthew Aucoin, Etude No. 3 from Three Etudes
John Cage, A Flower
The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs
Charles Ives, Songs: Thoreau, Dreams
György Ligeti, Étude No.2 Corde à vide
Étude No.5 Arc-en-ciel
Jarosław Kapuściński, Juicy (with electronics and artificial intelligence Antescofo)
Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 #1, “Waldstein,” Movts. II and III