An immersive musical experience
in the Chinese Rotunda at the Penn Museum.


Join us for an awe-inspiring and interactive performance of two world-premiere compositions inspired by artifacts at the Penn Museum. Listen to the delicate tumult and harmony of statues being carved. Whisper the secrets of the world in a spectacular visual and acoustic setting.

Ancient Echoes is a collaborative project of the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Early Bird tickets now available

Ancient Echoes Tickets

Tue, Apr 26, 2016 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m

The Penn Museum - Chinese Rotunda, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Ancient Echoes Program

Limestone by Lembit Beecher
for four percussionists and solo cello

Special Presentations on Artifacts by Adam Smith (Assistant Curator, Asian Section) and Dr. Phillip Jones (Babylonian scholar, Associate Curator)

Tonight We Tell The Secrets of the World by Scott Ordway
for Seven Strings, Soprano voice, and Saxophone

The Composers and the Music

lembit beecher

Lembit Beecher

Limestone for Four Percussionists and Solo Cello

Inspired by Tang Dynasty sculptures, Limestone captures the experience of statues being carved from blocks of stone. Four percussionists spaced throughout the gallery use chisels, hammers, rasps, and sandpaper to create a delicate tumult of sound which echoes in the unique acoustic space of the Chinese Rotunda. From the chaotic texture of sound, the cello's voice gradually refines and rises as the lyrical and poignant voice of the statue itself.

scott ordway

Scott Ordway

Tonight We Tell the Secrets of the World for Seven Strings, Soprano Voice, and Saxophone

Tonight We Tell the Secrets of the World is inspired by ancient texts about the mysteries of love, death, and religion. Guided by an array of colored lights, the audience is invited to participate by whispering these secrets as part of the performance. The sounds echo throughout the rotunda, enveloping both audience and performers, and inviting us to share in the deepest secrets of ancient civilization.

Supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund

Supported by the William Penn Foundation