PRISM Quartet and Susie Ibarra

Composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra joins PRISM Quartet for a concert celebrating their XAS recording of Ibarra’s “Procession Along the Aciga Tree.” The program, curated by Ibarra, also includes the newly commissioned “Spring in New York” by Indonesian composer Gardika Gigih, her former mentee.

In describing “Procession Along the Aciga Tree,” Ibarra writes, “Beautiful acacia trees are commonly seen throughout the forest areas of the northern Luzon in the Philippines. One of the largest acacia trees known in the province of Kalinga is the Aciga Tree which is said to be a tree of treasures. ‘Procession Along the Aciga Tree is inspired by the tradition of processional music in the north of the Philippines often found weaving through the forests. This piece draws upon interlocking rhythms, shifting melodies, pulses and cross rhythms. It imagines a sonic procession amidst the Acacia to the Aciga tree.”




Ibarra contributes new arrangements of selections from two previously composed works to the program: “Walking on Water” and “Fragility Etudes.” In “Walking on Water,” Ibarra took an underwater microphone to Himalayan hills to record the sound of glaciers breaking and melting, and uses that as the immersive backdrop to her composition, which is both an elegy to a planet in environmental crisis and an homage to human resilience in dire circumstances. Largely improvised, “Marienda” translates from Tagalog as “snack,” defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a light meal: food eaten between regular meals.”

Gardika Gigih

“Spring in New York” by Indonesian composer, pianist, and soundscape researcher Gardika Gigih was, in his words, “inspired by a sonic experience I had during the spring of 2023 in New York. After months of cold winter, in April, the birds start singing lively, the insects make noises, the leaves grow, the flowers bloom, and my listening changes. I am transferring this transcendental experience into a soundscape for PRISM and my mentor, Susie Ibarra, to explore a delicacy of texture, synchronicity, and randomness in the spirit of nature.”

Walking on Water by Susie Ibarra
I. Elegy in Azurite
II. East of Sendai
Marienda by Susie Ibarra
Spring in New York by Gardika Gigih
Procession Along the Aciga Tree by by Susie Ibarra

About Susie Ibarra
Susie Ibarra is a Filipinx composer, percussionist, and sound artist. Her interdisciplinary practice spans formats, including performance, mobile sound-mapping applications, multi-channel audio installations, recording, and documentary. Many of Ibarra’s projects are based in cultural and environmental preservation: she has worked to support Indigenous and traditional music cultures, such musika katatubo from the North and South Philippine islands; her sound research advocates for the stewardship of glaciers and freshwaters; and she collaborates with The Joudour Sahara Music Program in Morocco on initiatives that preserve sound-based heritage with sustainable music practices and support the participation of women and girls in traditional music communities.

She is a recipient of the Foundation For Contemporary Arts Award in Music/ Sound (2022), a National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship (2020); United States Artists Fellowship in Music (2019); the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship (2018); and a TED Senior Fellowship (2014). Susie Ibarra is a Yamaha, Vic Firth, and Zildjian Drum Artist.