Posted by Daniel Kushner » Add Comment »
Experiments in Opera has commissioned 10 composers to present new operas that last no more than 10 minutes. These new works will be premiered by the contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Issue Project Room, in Brooklyn. Daniel Kushner asked 5 questions to Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian who both composed an opera that will be premiered that night, and are the founders of Hotel Elefant.
Are there aspects of these two operas that are the direct result of writing with the members of Hotel Elefant in mind?
Leaha: Writing for the members of Hotel Elefant is such a great experience. My opera A Window to a Door is very sparse and exposed: for soprano, violin, double bass, and electronics. I know from experience how comfortable violinist Andie Tanning Springer is with electro-acoustic works, and that Michelle Lou has extensive knowledge with the language of contemporary music. It gave me the confidence to be simple and direct in my writing.
Mary: The music for I am a Fish asks for players who are comfortable performing in the style of rock and hip hop who are also familiar with specifically notated extended techniques and guided improvisation. In writing for Andie Tanning Springer (vln), Michelle Lou (contrabass), Kirsten Volness (pno), and Hannis Brown (e. gtr), I knew that while these players were already pros at nailing contemporary music, they would also enjoy digging into some pop. They’re not afraid to play ugly and aggressively, which are requests I frequently ask for in the piece. They’re all champs in the adventurous category.
Leaha Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian
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Posted by Daniel Garrick » 1 Comment »
Last October, I CARE IF YOU LISTEN featured a video of the freshly deployed new music ensemble Hotel Elefant as they were preparing a work of composer Michael Gordon for their upcoming concert titled Dia De Los Muertos. Their Concert II was to focus on the theme “remembrance,” featuring new works by notable young composers as well as two compositions by Gordon. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy prevented concert from occurring on its originally planned date. Undaunted, Hotel Elefant eventually presented concert on Saturday, January 12, 2013.
Contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant (photo credit: hotelelfant.org)
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Posted by Thomas Deneuville » Add Comment »
We met with composers Leaha Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian as their ensemble, Hotel Elefant, was about to rehearse Michael Gordon’s For Madeline for their upcoming Dia de Los Muertos concert. Learn more about them, and the challenges that a young ensemble faces in New York City.
For more information, visit: http://www.hotelelefant.org.
Embedding is cool. Crediting is really cool.
Video + Editing: Thomas Deneuville
Opening animation: DTWebart (http://www.dtwebart.com)
Posted by Elias Blumm » 1 Comment »
The Norman S. Benzaquen Hall at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music has the appearance of a spruced up practice room, a tall, raw space with instruments piled in the corner. This was no less effective of an environment for Hotel Elefant, a group overflowing with young, dedicated musicians (seventeen in all) who have banded together in order to—as their press kit affirms—interpret the music of “innovative, living composers.” There is something in the collaborative camaraderie within the group, despite its largesse, that speaks to the delight each member takes up in this goal, and in that way the charm of the hall only added to the affect: a bunch of crazy kids lovingly playing a bunch of crazy music, some of it written from within the clique, all of it sounding totally personal in their hands.
Meg Zervoulis conducting Ung’s … still life after death
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