‘Becoming Durga’ album debuts at Leach Garden

INCLUDES MUSIC-FILLED VIDEO | Take a look, and listen to this elegant music by this local composer and musician, performed in outer East Portland in an equally graceful setting …

The main gates of Leach Botanical Garden were closed on this evening in July for a private concert taking place on its grounds.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Especially during the summer months, Leach Botanical Garden is the location for many events, both public and private.

East Portland News was invited to attend a private reception on Saturday evening, July 16, for a concert coinciding with the release of a chamber music album called “Becoming Durga”, held on the patio behind the Leach Manor House.

“Becoming Durga” composer Deena T. Grossman greets guests coming to the concert.

“Leach Botanical Garden is a hidden gem, hidden away in Southeast Portland; it’s a really unique spot, which is why love it,” said “Becoming Durga” composer Deena T. Grossman, as she began the evening. “The decision to come here for this actually started about a year ago, when I was taking a walk in the garden with Mirabai Peart, one of our performance artists this evening.

Concert-goers gather, eager for the evening’s concert – a fundraising benefit for Leach Botanical Garden.

“We talked with one of the Leach staff members, and they said that they do like to have music and arts in the garden,” Grossman said.

As she and her companion toured the Manor House and performance area, “I immediately thought that this would be a fabulous setting to produce a concert,” recalled Grossman.

The concert began in this lovely Leach Botanical Garden setting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she put the idea out of her mind at the time, she said. “Then, with the release of my album ‘Becoming Durga’, the musicians involved agreed that they, too, could picture a beautiful evening concert here during the summer.”

So, earlier this year, she contacted a staff member who told her that a date in July was available. “I thought to myself, ‘this is really unusual synchronicity!’” Grossman recollected. “I suggested we do an album release concert, and have the ticket sales benefit Leach Botanical Garden.”

Hear some of the music, and watch it being played presented at this unique and delightful concert:

About the album
“This album, ‘Becoming Durga’, is a collection of five pieces that are all chamber music,” declared Grossman. “All of the pieces are tied together, in a number of different ways – in that all of them have something to do with our natural world. That is another reason to have a concert in this beautiful spot!”

Cellist David Eby begins the evening’s concert with a solo performance.

The evening’s program:

Raven: A portrait in for movements – performed on cello by David Eby

Temenos, Sacred Space – (composed in 2009), a performance for voice and viola by Mirabai Peart.

Snowy Egret, January Messenger – (1993) performed on the flute by Camila Oliveira.

Island of the Spirit (1984) performed  on the flute by Camila Oliveira.

Becoming Durga –with Mirabai Peart, violin; Michael Mandrell, guitar; and the composer, Deena T. Grossman performing on the banjo.

The evening was delightful, filled with fascinating music well played, in an elegant setting, just as the composer had envisioned.

> Learn more about composer Deena T. Grossman, and purchase her music, by visiting her official website: CLICK HERE.

> To learn more about Leach Botanical Garden, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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