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New Music from Wollschleger, Hearne, and Balter

Scott Wollschleger's long-anticipated album, Soft Aberration, has just been released on New Focus Recordings. Featuring Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall", Wollschleger's new album features performances by soprano Corrine Byrne, trumpeter Andy Kozar, violist Anne Lanzilotti, cellist John Popham, pianist Karl Larson, the Mivos Quartet, and the Longleash trio. In a series of informative blog posts, Lanzilotti has written extensively on Wollschleger's concept of "brontal": 

a made up word that longtime collaborator Kevin Sims coined after making a series of pencil drawings on orange paper. The word now embodies Wollschleger’s aesthetic: the idea that we can create something very basic and human by discovering the sensation of an object. In doing this, we are making something unfamiliar very immediate. This process of discovery can be very focused and also, at times, very funny.

Check out Wollschleger's new album below. 

On October 21st at 7.30pm, the New World Symphony will premiere a new work by Ted Hearne entitled Miami in Movements. But while this piece was composed by Hearne, the musical material that Hearne had composed is made up of over 1,050 videos and audio recordings, made by the people of Miami, that record the feelings, impressions, and emotions they associate with their city. Working with videographer Jonathan David Kane, Hearne has created Miami in Movements for Project 305, a concert program by the NWS that features Hearne's new work in a free, public "wallcast" performance

Just as Miami in Movements was created specificly for the city of Miami, the Jack Quartet has put together a touring program of American string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries, which they have titled "Soundscape America". Their program, which premieres on October 21 at Columbia University's Miller Theatre, includes classics such as Ruth Crawford Seeger's String Quartet 1931, as well as more contemporary works such as Marcos Balter'sChambers. This work, which was commissioned and premiered in 2011 by the Spektral Quartet, offers three movements that condense the different aspects of Balter's musical identity into a single work. Check out Spektral's recording, released on Parlour Tapes, below. 

Kate Soper's "IPSA DIXIT" Now Available on PSNY

Kate Soper's ambitious and multi-faceted project, IPSA DIXIT ["She, Herself, Said It"] is now available on PSNY. A finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer PrizeIPSA DIXIT is a six-movement chamber music theater work for soprano, flute, violin, and percussion that explores the intersections of music, language, and meaning. In addition to being performed as a full work, each of the movments may be performed as a standalone piece, or in any combination with each other. 

The work was developed by Soper with musicians from the Wet Ink Ensemble during a residency at EMPAC, and later premiered in a fully staged version at Dixon Place. Writing in the New Yorker, Alex Ross calls IPSA DIXIT a "twenty-first century masterpiece", and an example of Soper's unique genre of "philosophy-opera."

Steve Smith reviewed the work's premiere at Dixon Place as "a dazzlingly varied six-part sequence of quartets and duets spanning a stylistic range best described as broad and eclectic, but never unapproachable, employing texts concerning matters of intellect and sentiment, cognition and persuasion, perception and awareness."

Now, in addition to the full score and performance materials, each individual movement of IPSA DIXIT is also available on PSNY: Poetics, Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say, Rhetoric, The Crito, Metaphysics, and Cipher

A complete studio recording of the six movements of IPSA DIXIT is forthcoming, so stay tuned for more news!

Check out video excertps of each movement below. 

A Busy Weekend for Timo Andres

(Illustration by Dadu Shin for The New Yorker)
(Illustration by Dadu Shin for The New Yorker)

Timo Andres has had a busy run of recent performances across the country, including concerts in New York, Jacksonville, and Big Sur. On September 26th, Andres participated in a marathon performance of Erik Satie's Vexations—a four-line piece for solo piano that tells the performer to repeat it eight hundred and forty times. Among a roster that included Christian Wolff, Philip Corner, and David Del Tredici, Andres performed Vexations at 2.20am on September 27th, commenting to the New York Times that though he thinks about all music sculpturally, "vexations takes on a very dark presence". 

Two days later, Andres' piano concerto The Blind Banister was performed by the Jacksonville Symphony featuring Jonathan Biss, for whom it was written and dedicated. A finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, The Blind Banister respnds to Beethoven's second piano concerto, and is part of Biss' Beethoven/5 project with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, which asks composers to respond to Beethoven's piano concerti. 

And to cap off the week, in idyllic Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, Andres performed his own piano music as a part of Philip Glass' "Days and Nights" Festival, in a program that also featured Claire Chase, Jennifer Curtis, Pauchi Sasaki, and the Philip Glass Ensemble. Andres has frequently performed with Glass, and has performed Glass' complete Piano Etudes around the world. 

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