Jace Clayton at Gateway DC at St. Elizabeths East Thursday, Sept. 11

Sept. 11 marks the beginning of the Ethiopian New Year and harvest celebration known as Enkutatash. As part of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ 5x5 Project, New York composer Jace Clayton, aka DJ Rupture, presents “Enkutatash,” a public choral piece inspired by both the holiday and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He created the work using a musical score based on the color-coded terrorism threat alerts issued by the Department of Homeland Security between 2002 and 2011, which he converted into notes on the Ethiopian five-note pentatonic musical scale. While area choruses sing that portion, local Ethiopian masinqo (a one-stringed instrument similar to a fiddle or lute) player Gizachew T. Habtemariam and vocalist Kalkidan Woldemariam perform a version of a traditional East African harvest song. Clayton is best known for avant-funk pieces, but he says this layered effort, to which he’ll add laptop tweaks, will be meditative, respectful, and moving, encapsulating both the fear of Sept. 11 and the annual joy and sustenance of the Ethiopian New Year. Jace Clayton performs at 6 p.m. at Gateway DC at St. Elizabeths East, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. Free. (202) 330-1219. stelizabethseast.com.

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