The late composer Fausto Romitelli, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 41 from a tragic illness, sculpted his compositions with an aggressive physicality. He considered “sound as a material into which one plunges, in order to forge its physical and perceptive characteristics….” His last work, An Index of Metals (2003), was conceived of as a culmination of this physical work, in which he had the “desire to create a total perceptive experience… to immerse the spectator in an incandescent, enveloping material.” To do this, he created a “video opera” for Soprano, ensemble and multimedia projection with composer and video artist Paolo Pachini, with text by Yugoslavian writer Kenka Lèkovich. Together, they wanted to create a “furnace of sensations.”
Do you subscribe to our newsletter (the latest one looked like this)? We send out an email every three to four weeks with some popular posts, photos, news, and this week three giveaways! Some people also decide to subscribe to the Week in Review and they get a shorter email—and a different kitten—every Sunday. Here are three more reasons to subscribe before Saturday night…
In this week’s newsletter, we will be giving away a copy of David Van Tieghem x Ten’s Fits & Starts(LP + digital copy), reviewed by George Heathco, courtesy of RVNG Intl. You’ll love it.
Bang on a Can All-Stars – Photo by Peter Serling
In the same email, we will be giving away two tickets for the People’s Commissioning Fund Concert (PCF) on March 13, part of the Ecstatic Music Festival presented by Kaufman Music Center. This year the Bang on a Can All-Stars will give the world premieres of works by three PCF-commissioned composers: Alvin Lucier, Daniel Wohl, and Richard Reed Parry. The concert will also include David Lang’s haunting death speaksperformed by the All-Stars and special guest Shara Worden, plus Julia Wolfe’s driving classic from 1994, Lick. John Schaefer of WNYC-FM will host the evening for future radio broadcasts on his program, “New Sounds Live;” the concert will be streamed live on Q2 Music and will be available for on-demand listening at Q2Music.org.
Cypress String Quartet – Photo by Gregory Goode
New Music happens everywhere, and for our friends in the Bay Area, we will also be giving away two tickets for the 2014 installment of the Cypress String Quartet’s Call & Response on Friday, March 14 at 8pm. The program will feature the world premiere of Grawemeyer Award-winning composer George Tsontakis’ String Quartet No. 6. Tsontakis’ new work will be performed alongside the three works that inspired it: Schubert’s seminal String Quartet No. 15 in G Major plus two masterpieces by Webern – his ultra-romantic Langsamersatz and the contrasting Five Movements for String Quartet. Last year, we even asked 5 questions to Jennifer Kloetzel (cellist of the Cypress String Quartet), remember? :)
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Just fill the form below and keep an eye on your Mailbox this coming Sunday (Mar. 9)!
The recent release of “Between the Kiss and the Chaos” on Delos was a great opportunity to ask five questions to violinist, composer, and producer Tracy Silverman.
In the notes to your CD, your discussion of Axis and Orbits is fairly technical while your discussion of between the kiss and the chaos focuses on the imagery and the relationship between the artworks and the music. I would be interested to hear some of the musical considerations you had as you were writing that one too.
Interesting! I hadn’t noticed that. Axis and Orbits doesn’t have the same direct visual and dramatic starting point as Between the Kiss, which originated as a puppet opera about artists and therefore had some very tangible inspiration. Axis was more of a technical challenge in it’s inception—to try to create a live semi-improvised work for a single person using loop pedals which retained the type of musical interaction that we expect from ensemble playing. With that as the challenge, each of the 4 pieces ends up in a different emotional place, guided there by the different approaches to using the loop pedal which I was exploring in each movement.
In the first movement, Axis and Orbits, I loved the image of these bodies in space moving silently and consistently and without any regard at all to the random alignments in which they find themselves. I love the idea that one alignment of harmony is no better than another, and I like the nihilism of starting out all lined up and slowly but steadily dissolving into chaos. I wanted a nice contrasting feel to the first movement, so the second movement, Camshaft, has a hard funky, rocky groove. And once I got into the funk, it wanted to turn itself into a band playing a song, complete with different “instruments,” sections, breakdowns, etc. It’s very complicated to pull off live, but hopefully listening to it makes you forget that it’s all done by one person. Sacred Geometry was inspired by the polyphony of crickets, and the simple kaleidoscope of the shifting harmony within a regular rhythmic pulse, (as opposed to Axis and Orbits which has no pulse or meter,) inspired Terry Riley to give it its title. Mojo is me trying to call up the spirit of those crazed eastern european roma violinists who play with a ferocity like they have bleeding entrails still caught in their teeth.
RVNG Intl.’s release of X Ten – Fits & Starts is the 10th volume of the FRKWYS series, and is the result of a project that seeks to answer the question “what can a communication be?” In 2012, as part of an on-going series called Bulletin Boards, percussionist and composer David Van Tieghem improvised a solo performance at Venus Over Manhattan, using only an assortment of objects, ranging from bamboo chimes and water cans, to spaghetti strainers and firecrackers, attached to a 6×4 foot bulletin board. Recordings were made of the performance and sent off to ten musicians (who each had contributed an object to the bulletin board) to manipulate, remix, and interpret however they wanted. The results were sent back to Van Tieghem to edit and assemble into a final draft, resulting in a collage that spans two sides of a 12-inch vinyl.
Pianist Orli Shaham and friends present a concert in celebration of the release of her new CD, American Grace, featuring works by Steven Mackey and John Adams. Monday, March 3 at 7:30 PM Tickets $20-$35 SubCulture, 45 Bleecker Street, Downstairs, New York, NY ..:: Website
An Evening of New Music by Michael Linton
French bass-baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer makes his New York debut in the premiere of Carmina Catulli, a 17-movement song cycle on the poems of Catullus. Tenor H. Stephen Smith, who recently performed in Carmen with the Folkoperan at BAM, premieres Seven Franchetti Songs, settings of poetry by the Italian-American polymath Cody Franchetti. Both works are by composer Michael Linton. Because the poems of Catullus deal with issues of sex in a frank manner, some members of the public might find them objectionable. Monday, March 3 at 8 PM Tickets $35 Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave, New York, NY ..:: Website
Harrison Birtwistle: 80th Birthday Celebration
The New York New Music Ensemble (NYNME) will highlight the chamber music of Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle in a concert at New York’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music. This event—an 80th birthday celebration—will feature three US premieres, as well as several other acclaimed works. Performing on the concert are NYNME members Daniel Druckman (percussion), Stephen Gosling (piano), Christopher Finckel (cello), Linda Quan (violin), and Jean Kopperud (clarinet), alongside a number of guest artists including conductor Oliver Hagen, flutist Sooyun Kim, clarinetist Benjamin Fingland, violinist Deborah Wong, violist Lois Martin, and harpist Bridget Kibbey. Monday, March 3 at 8 PM Tickets $20, $10 students DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Mary Flagler Cary Hall, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY ..:: Website
While the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (or ASCAP to its friends), has been wrapped up in its hundredth birthday celebration this year, it has essentially been business as usual in assisting the professionals itemized in its familiar acronym make a living doing what they love and seeing that our evolving culture continues to understand and cherish its value. The concert in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on Thursday, February 20 offered an excellent balance of the birthday fun and the very essence of ASCAP’s mission with a collaboration between Orchestra Underground, an ongoing project of the American Composers Orchestra, and Philadelphia’s choral virtuosos The Crossing. Featuring two world premieres commissioned by the orchestra and two New York premieres, the program juxtaposed emerging, young composers Ted Hearne, Lisa Renée Coons and Amy Beth Kirsten alongside new and known works by established masters David Lang and Steve Reich. Even better, four of the five featured composers were in attendance, illuminating the fact that in this esoteric field, composers are people, too.
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