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Concerto for Charango and Orchestra

by Anya Yermakova

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Concerto for Charango and Orchestra "From the Big Bang, through the fundamental laws" is a work composed with three main points of focus. First, the fundamental laws of physics (aka symmetry laws) form the conceptual fabric of the piece. The score is a mix of traditional and graphic notations, with the latter comprised of astronomical data. Second, the commission came from an extraordinary youth orchestra in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. Finally, the work invites charango further into the world of classical-contemporary music, while attending to the many strengths from folkloric music for which it is known.

The driving ambition of the composition was to invite the musicians to play with the astronomical data much in the way scientists *play*. That is, to devise “boundary conditions” for an improvisatory interpretation of the score that resemble the “boundary conditions” guiding physicists through recurring uncertainties in the scientific research process. For the physicist, these include “laws” such as conservation of energy, conservation of angular momentum, relentlessness of gravity, and so on. For the musician, the score has shifting aleatoric elements that mirror these laws, echoing the hypothetical emergent structures in the early universe. Written for and interpreted by a youth orchestra, the hope is that young musicians are encouraged to see their creative process as resembling that of even the most “advanced” contemporary scientist, and to discourage othering and alienation between “science” and “art” from a young age.

The charango concerto was composed in collaboration with astronomer and charango player Sebastián Pérez. The people involved in the realization of this recording are featured in the credits of the video above.



released May 23, 2019
Composition by Anya Yermakova
Scientific conceptual artist: Sebastián Pérez
Charango Soloist and co-composer: Sebastián Pérez
Conductor: Jorge Luis Cornejo
Members of Pudahuel Youth Orchestra, Chile
Sound Engineer and Editor: Matías Lizama
Sound Assistant: Daniel Ruiz




Anya Yermakova Chicago, Illinois

Anya is a composer, sound artist, and performer, who plays with intersections of recorded sounds, acoustic music, and movement improvisation. She is a trained pianist as well as a singer-songwriter from the Russian bard song tradition. Her frequent collaboration with science is driven by her research in creative logics, of the non-binary, dynamic, [im]possible worlds. ... more

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