March 2021

Bella premieres "Miasma" by Nokuthula Ngwenyama

MARCH 2021 (Indianapolis, Indiana) ‘Miasma’ by Nokuthula Ngwenyama received its world premiere on March 23, 2021 for a live audience in Indianapolis, presented by the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis on their Laureate Series. The commission was made possible by the Young Concert Artists Keep Our Artists Working Fund.

Inspired by Covid-19, Nokuthula writes in the program notes: "...The genomic letters ACGU – standing for adenin, cytosine, guanine and uracil - appear as their corresponding notes with U being treated as “wild,” allowing greater range and harmonic movement... Miasma starts in a lamenting adagio, gradually sinking to the first of several low distortions symbolizing pandemic realization around the world.  Genomic patterns and variants B. 1. 1. 7, P1 and B. 1. 351 interrupt and gradually make themselves more prominent through the piece, finally trailing of with thirty-three As at the end."

Bella writes: "Early on in the pandemic when I applied for the funding of a new work by Thula, there wasn’t a clear premiere date or performance in mind and I had initially planned for a virtual world premiere. The possibility of a live world premiere presented itself in early 2021 and that performance was my first in front of a live audience in nearly 14 months. I will never forget the moment of walking out on stage and seeing living and breathing people there with me, waiting to hear this new work."

Watch the premiere here: