Southern Exposure new music series explores connection and belonging

January 8, 2024

USC School of Music and the Southern Exposure New Music Series Announces Decoda: “Belonging”

Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, is an artist-led collective of virtuoso chamber musicians and passionate advocates for music in communities around the world. Lauded by the New York Times as “refreshing in the extreme” and Juilliard’s Eric Booth as “the ninja musical artists the 21st century requires”, the NYC-based chamber music ensemble presents a South Carolina-centered program for mixed octet called Belonging in the Southern Exposure series’ first concert of 2024.

This free show – no tickets or reservations required, general admission seating – is on Friday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the USC School of Music Recital Hall, 813 Assembly St., second floor.

About the concert

Seamlessly flowing in time and space, Decoda’s Southern Exposure program explores connection, closeness, and the sense of belonging, granted through the act of making and sharing music together. Belonging draws its roots from the medieval monophony of Hildegard von Bingen, explores the warmth of mothers and the whimsy of children from works by Sarah Kirkland Snider and Chick Corea, and discovers the meditation of the natural world in works by Decoda’s own Evan Premo and Brad Balliett.

The program also shines a spotlight on Decoda’s celebrated creative work with vulnerable communities, which includes incarcerated persons. Decoda will perform three original works from the field, written by incarcerated musicians, including one from a South Carolina prison, Lee Correctional Institution, where Decoda has been in residence since 2014. In another SC connection, the ensemble will perform Balliett’s Fantasy on a Rendezvous, inspired by astronaut Ronald McNair from Lake City, SC, who died in the 1984 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The concert will also feature works by SC visual artist Thomas Washington, Jr. (aka Thomas the Younger).

A nonprofit organization, Decoda’s mission is to create a more compassionate and connected world through music—thoughtfully curating outstanding performances of live chamber music, facilitating creative community projects, and training the next generation of musical artists to rethink and reimagine their role in society.

Websites and Press Contacts

Southern Exposure New Music Series,
Michael Harley, director, Southern Exposure, [email protected], 614-937-7722
(Mike is glad to help arrange direct interviews with specific guest artists)

Cellist and USC professor Claire Bryant, [email protected]

Thomas the Younger, [email protected]