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When Dave Eggar was little, his mom gave him a violin, made him practice and go to classes. He said he was already pretentious — so he used all his 4-year-old strength to stomp it into pieces.

“So after Christmas that year, my mom gave me a cello,” Eggar said. “It was sort of delivered in a weird punishment way, like my dad and my mom looked at my eyes and they were like, ‘It’s bigger than you. You can’t break.’ But the interesting thing with the cello was that I really took to it right away.”

Now, he is a world-renowned cellist, playing with the likes of Fallout Boy, Evanescence, Coldplay and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. He is also the inaugural legacy resident at Surel’s Place in Garden City and organizing a performance, based on his album of the same name, called “Ourself behind Ourself, Concealed.” The show’s name comes from a line in the Emily Dickinson poem: “One need not be a Chamber to be Haunted.”

The performance is slated for May 26 at 7 p.m. In the show at The Morrison Center, different musicians will be playing pieces from the album. Tasha Warren, an international clarinet player, co-wrote the album.

The show is aiming high and audience members can expect risk taking and stellar performances.

“We want to really celebrate the diversity of narrative in classical music,” Eggar said. “Martha Redbone (one of the composers) said it so well: Can we actually let the classical chamber music stage cry? Can we let it be vulnerable? Can we let it be like a play? Can we let it actually take risks with the audience?”

To help experiment, Eggar and Warren brought in six prolific composers and worked closely with them to help interpret their works.

The show will be divided into two parts. In the first part, the musicians will be at the front of the stage playing the composers’ pieces. In the second part, the musicians will be at the back of the stage, while there is another performance, such as dance or a projection, in the front of the stage.

“It’s designed so that the audience can have their own experience of the music and go on this journey with the music performed live,” said Jodi Eichelberger, program director at Surel’s Place. “Then in the second, they get to compare that with more of a revealing — a deepening of how the music was created, and also other artist interpretations of the music.”

Other performers include Lakota musician Tiokasin Ghosthorse, the nonprofit dance organization LED, tap dancer Andrew Nemr and dancers from the Idaho Fine Arts Academy.

The six composers are: Nathalie Joachim, Martha Redbone, Cornelius Boots, Meg Okura, Pascal Laboeuf and Paquito D’Rivera.

Because of the pandemic, many artists had a lot of time on their hands, said Eggar, and this allowed him to work closely with each composer.

“We ended up getting a lot of personal time with the composers on Zoom, way more than we ever would have gotten in a normal commissioning project,” Eggar said. “We, really ironically, got to know them better than we would have if it had been in-person.”

Eggar first came to Surel’s Place in 2015 and fell in love with the state, returning multiple times and forging connections.

The other composers bring much to the table. “Nathalie Joachim’s Haitian identity shines through, as does her desire to tell a unique, personal, and compelling story,” Eichelberger said in a press release. And, “Martha Redbone’s background as a stunning virtuosity as a vocalist, native flute player, and blues artist inform soulful works that are fiery, full of virtuosity and intelligence.”

Cornelius Boots’s groundbreaking founding of (and composing for) Edmund Welles Bass Clarinet Quartet, classified by reviewers as ‘heavy chamber music,’ or a cross between heavy metal and chamber music, has impressed audiences of all backgrounds and tastes worldwide,” Eichelberger said. “Meg Okura’s music fuses influences from her Japanese, Jazz, and classical roots, with reference to her Jewish faith.”

“Pascal Laboeuf’s music combines classical music, indie-rock, and jazz; Stan Getz to Bartok,” said Eichelberger. “Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization. A winner of fourteen Grammy Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer.”

Each performance will range from 6-10 minutes.

This is all part of Surel’s Place’s 10th Anniversary. Eichelberger said this event really captures the essence of the nonprofit by bringing in national artists to collaborate with local performers.

Surel’s Place celebrates 10th anniversary with ‘Ourself behind Ourself, Concealed’

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