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Shaw Pong Liu

Boston, MA      

Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liu activates dialogue, community-building and healing through listening-based multidisciplinary creative collaborations. As a 2016 Boston Artist-in-Residence, she created Code Listen, an ongoing project and ensemble of Boston police, teen artists, and family members surviving homicide, using songwriting and music performance to support healing and dialogue around gun violence, racism, and police practices.

 Other current projects include Traces, a neighborhood sound- and story-tracing project and commission with Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI, and composing music for Conference of the Birds, a movement theatre project exploring migration, refugee experiences and the search for the divine, in collaboration with Anikaya Dance Theatre and choreographer Wendy Jehlen.

 Shaw Pong’s compositions have been commissioned by Silkroad, A Far Cry, Lorelei Ensemble, New Gallery, Anikaya Dance Theatre, Community MusicWorks. As a violinist and erhu player she performs with groups including Silkroad Ensemble, Soul Yatra, and Castle of Our Skins.

 Shaw Pong has worked as a teaching artist with the New England Conservatory of Music, the Urbano Project, Celebrity Series of Boston, Young Audiences and Silkroad, as well as at international festivals  including the Cuerdes Oaxaca strings festival in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at Yo-Yo Ma’s invitation, Youth Music Culture Guangdong in Guangzhou, China. She has a Bachelor’s degree from U. C. Berkeley, and a Masters in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and is a 2019-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow.

Arise for 18 string players

Site-specific composition exploring three-dimensional listening, and the relationship between nature, mental frenzy, and mental calm. Based on three years of birdsong research across four geographical locales, and interviews with musicians. Composed and choreographed by Shaw Pong Liu for the Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA. Commissioned and performed by A Far Cry, Boston-based conductorless chamber orchestra.

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Code Listen: Music For Healing and Dialogue

The Code Listen project, created and directed by Shaw Pong Liu (a 2016 Boston Artist-in-Residence) uses music for healing and dialogue on policing, racism, and homicide. This video features excerpts from a 2018 musical-narrative-memorial performance by the Code Listen ensemble of Boston Police musicians, homicide survivors and teen artists, with guest artists from A Far Cry, Berklee and Boston Arts Academy. Original music by Liu based on interviews with ensemble members.

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From the Gut (2018)

Composition by Shaw Pong Liu for shakuhachi, sheng, marimba and violin, inspired by the 14th-century “Amida” Buddha sculpture in the Freer |Sackler collection. Performed by Silkroad artists: Kojiro Umezaki, shakuhachi; Wu Tong, sheng; Shane Shanahan, marimba; and Shaw Pong Liu, violin.

Commissioned from Silkroad Ensemble by the Freer|Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute.

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