Matthew Evan Taylor, composer and winds
Andrew Cyr, artistic director and conductor
Rajna Swaminathan, founder and mrudangam
Over the course of 2021, MetLiveArts commissioned composer Matthew Evan Taylor for twelve Postcards to The Met, small sparks of collaborative inspiration that he developed remotely with members of the orchestral Metropolis Ensemble and South Asian jazz collective RAJAS. These bite-sized pieces of music, which explored African-American, South Asian, and Western European musical practices, served as the complement to Life Returns, a monumental evening-length work that melds free improvisation and through composition to celebrate resilience and triumph in the face of despair.
Life Returns premiered in March 2022 on The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium's stage, part of MetLiveArts' first live season after the lockdown. Now, to mark the piece's digital debut and as part of The Met's celebration of Black History Month, we're excited to welcome back composer Matthew Evan Taylor, conductor and Metropolis Ensemble artistic director Andrew Cyr, and RAJAS leader Rajna Swaminathan a for a special online conversation about the composition process and its lasting impact, moderated by The Met's Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang General Manager of Live Arts, Limor Tomer.
For a full list of artists and more information, view the concert program here.
Life Returns was commissioned by MetLiveArts and Metropolis Ensemble in collaboration with RAJAS. This program was made possible by the Adrienne Arsht Fund for Resilience through Art and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Piano by Steinway & Sons.
Recorded at the World Premiere on Thursday, March 24, 2022 in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Image: Matthew Evan Taylor, Life Returns. Art by Juniper Creative LLC