Close Quarters: Episode 7

Mother of Bravery

+ Mind The Rhythm

Premiered on January 29

Derrick Spiva Jr. explores the path from fear to bravery — a path of self-discovery and commitment to everyday brave actions — in his new work, Mother of Bravery.

Mother of Bravery is sponsored by June and Simon Li.



Mind The Rhythm interweaves the dynamic range and tempo fluctuations of melodies found in the classical music of many different cultures together with the intimacy of folk music, and the driving, endlessly contrasting elements of electronic music. The Prelude is a slow introduction to this sonic environment between the electronics and the violin. The second half of the piece is a frenetic expansion of how the violin and electronics engage in call-and-response and compete for the foreground. Mind the Rhythm can be performed using one of two concert setups: Version One with two live performers (amplified solo violin and electro-acoustic percussion) and Version Two with one live performer (amplified solo violin).


Mother of Bravery is a piece that explores the emotional transformations that are possible with the sensation of fear. Inspired by the 4,096 ancestors that each person is directly descended from in 12 generations, Mother of Bravery explores how we have depended on the knowledge and survival of each of these ancestors in order to be alive today. Our awareness of our ancestors can encourage us to have the will and strength to move forward. The piece begins with unaccompanied spoken text. As the instruments enter, they serve not only as musical representation of the text, but also act as an entity representing a collective group of ancestors, of whom the actor can converse with. These moments of call and response heard between the speaking voice and the musicians draw from call and response traditions found in many musical cultures and spoken word traditions.

Mother Of Bravery also includes rhythmic elements from Ghanaian drumming as well as melodic elements found in West and North Africa, Bulgarian folk music, and blues, gospel, and bluegrass music of the United States. The harmonic and rhythmic progressions of Bach chorales and the work of Giacinto Scelsi (who is best known for writing music based around one pitch, altered through microtonal oscillations, harmonic allusion, and changes in timbre and dynamics) are also influences in the piece.

Derrick Spiva Jr. + Kim Tran


LACO’s new premium streaming series – which premieres November 6 – presents a new avenue for classical music and a unique look at what the future can hold in balancing music, art and movement.

Close Quarters features classical music performances set to images and art created and processed in a first-of-its-kind digital studio at Wilhardt + Naud. Music Director Jaime Martín and Director and Designer James Darrah seek to create a digital series that celebrates collaboration in an age of isolation.

Learn More about Close Quarters

Close Quarters is a Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra original series and you can find it for free on Youtube, Facebook and our website. We’ve created a printer-friendly version of the Fall season broadcast schedule.

Learn More download the schedule now (pdf)!

How to Support

Viewers who wish to support LACO and the artists on screen are encouraged to visit or call (213) 622-7001, EXT. 4.


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