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Exploring String Quartets With Akshaya Tucker And Saili Oak

Akshaya Tucker and Saili Oak
Vikram Bhide/Courtesy of artist
Akshaya Tucker and Saili Oak

Today we’ll be exploring the string quartet...with friends! On this episode of Sound Currents, discover new ways in which the string quartet is being used by contemporary composers, and hear from guests Akshaya Tucker and Saili Oak.

The string quartet has a long history of being an excellent catalyst for stand alone compositions, but also provides excellent range and rich texture for accompaniment and harmony. On this week's show, discover how this musical form is being reinvented.

This week's guests are composer/cellist/dancer Akshaya Tucker and Indian classical vocalist Saili Oak.

Be sure to answer this week's "favorite piece" poll down below and check out an online-only feature!

Sascha Groschang
Laurel Parks

Akshaya Tucker, composer/cellist/dancer
Saili Oak, Indian classical vocalist

Lagan Bina
by Akshaya Tucker
Salastina Chamber Music Society with Saili Oak, vocalist

The Answers to the Questions Wings Ask
by Ted Hearne
Mivos Quartet with Saul Williams, spoken word

The Ecstasies Above
by Tarik O'Reagan
Pacific Chorale and the Salastina Music Society

Salam Aleykom*
by Sahba Aminikia, based on a melody by Hassan Kassai
Performed by Kronos Quartet and
The Living Earth Show (Guitar and Vibes)
Ziya Tabassian (Tombak, Daf)
Soo Yeon Lyuh (Haegeum)
Sahba Motallebi (Tar)
Atabak Elyasi (Setar)
Marco Persis Coppola (Duhol)
Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat (Vocals)
William Barton (Digeridoo)
Layale Chaker (Violin)
Van-Anh Vo (Dan Bau, Percussions)
Kinan Azmeh (Clarinet)
Sahba Aminikia (Synthesizer)
Ceren Oren (Dance)
Ben Opie (Oboe)
Wu Man (Pipa)

*Online only

Bonus Content
Enjoy this short piece from composer Sahba Aminikia. His music explores the concepts of duality and enlightenment amidst darkness. Hear what Sascha and Laurel think of when they hear this work - what are your takeaways?

Did any pieces we included this week stand out to you?
Let us know using the form below!

Sascha Groschang is a host for Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC.
Laurel Parks is a host for Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at
Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and afternoon host for Classical KC. You can reach her at