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Wednesday, January 2,2013

Pieces of Marta

Cellist's CD project has global spin

by Lawrence Cosentino
When 24-year-old Okemos cellist Marta Bagratuni thought about making a debut CD, she dreaded soldiering through a “normal” recital of well-worn classics. Instead, she came up with “Pieces of the World,” an adventurous array of music by composers from Italy, Estonia, Armenia, Poland, Austria, China, Ukraine, and the United States.

To get “Pieces” off the ground, Bagratuni pitched the project to the crowdsourcing website Kickstarter last month. Three days after it was posted, Bagratuni saw it pop up between projects based in Tokyo and New York as a Kickstarter “staff pick.” 

The disc will include a world premiere by Armenian composer Vache Sharafyan, with solo voice and pre-recorded church bells, along with a spare meditation by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, a sweet baroque cello duet (with Marta’s dad, MSU prof Suren Bagratuni) and several other works that fall inside and outside well-worn cello traditions.

Bagratuni and several fellow musicians, including jazz and folk players, will throw a fundraising event 4 p.m. Saturday at The Avenue Café. The fundraising deadline is 6:20 p.m. Jan. 9. 

Bagratuni said “Pieces” will be a 100 percent made-in-Michigan project, to be recorded in the Lansing studio of award-winning pianist and recording engineer Sergei Kvitko. For the cover and interior art, East Lansing artist Zac Brunelli designed three original works, inspired by three pieces from the album. 

Bagratuni, who has played cello since she was 4, said she will be glad to see project move from the entrepreneurial phase to the artistic.

“Learning the music and playing it will be easy,” she said. “The Kickstarter part was hard.”

“Pieces of the World” Fundraiser
Featuring cellist Marta Bagratuni
4 p.m. Jan. 6
The Avenue Cafe
2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing.
FREE, but donations accepted
(517) 853-0550.
kickstarter.com/projects/1951316063/pieces-of-the-world

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