European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group
2018 announcement (blog size)
Soper IPSA banner USE
Subotnick Greenroom banner
Norman Trip to the Moon Greenroom

Composers

Blog Archive

201920182017201620152014201320122011

Newsletter

Ann Cleare Wins Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Composers' Prize

Ann Cleare has won a 2019 Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Composers' Prize—one of the most prestigious and significant awards in music, and the first Siemens Foundation prize to be awarded to an Irish composer. On June 7th, Cleare will recieve the award, alongside fellow awardees Annesley Black and Mithatcan Öcal, at a ceremony that will also include screenings of short films about all three composers, as well as a performance of Cleare's chamber ensemble work, on magnetic fields. The award also includes a portrait album on the Viennese label KAIROS, to be released later in 2019.

The musicologist Gascia Ouzounian has written an essay on Cleare's works, including her ensemble work on magnetic fields (2011-2012), her string quartet Moil (2010), and I Am Not a Clockmaker Either (2009), for accordion and electronics. Ouzounian asks:

is it music at all? Or is it something else, an altogether different artform that draws from musical traditions, but pushes against and beyond them, articulating something that is at once about sound, but that is equally concerned with energy, motion, space – and the world itself?

Scott Wollschleger's "American Dream"

What is an American dream? Blue skies, the open road, a sense of freedom, optimism for the future? Those are the objects of desire in so many American narratives; but in a dream, the valence of those objects, their interrelation, is radically called into question. Indeed, we might ask: what is an American dream—what is the American dream—in 2019? What can it tell us about ourselves? What makes a dream different from reality? Or: how are the two alike?

Scott Wollschleger's  forthcoming album on Canteloupe Music, American Dream, is a recording of that eponymous work along with two related pieces, performed by Bearthoven (Karl Larson, piano; Pat Swoboda, double bass; Matt Evans, percussion). Wollschleger began composing the piece in the winter of 2017, responding directly to the political upheavals of the previous November; he felt, he says, like he was suddenly and violently removed from the bubble in which he was living. Responding to that adjustment, he turned to abstraction: pitch pipes became the goofy, campy, cheap representation of national politics; in his studio, Wollschleger explored the piano, bass and a variety of percussion instruments to notate the feelings of political abjection, expressed in cinematic, short sections, each flashing like a semi-conscious aural dream.

Part of the affective power of American Dream is that its affect is radically undefined: is it mournful? Hopeful? What do its repetitions mean? What does it mean to be embraced by a strange new world of pitch and timbre, only for it to immediately evaporate and re-appear in slightly altered form? 

American Dream is book-ended by Gas Station Canon Song and We See Things That Are Not There, two works that emerged from the compositional material of American Dream. In this sense, this is at once a work and a kind of "concept album:" the album art, beautifully created by photographer Jamie Boddorf and designer Mariah Tarvainen, evokes the blues and oranges of the American Dream, the horizon that signals both beginning and end. 

As Wollschleger's frequent collaborator Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti writes, 

Is it a love song? A mis-remembered nostalgic anthem? A quiet, hopeful fanfare? A frightened obsessive meandering? In allowing ourselves to be truly vulnerable we can connect with each other, even if only for a moment. Or perhaps we see things that are not there.

American Dream will be released on February 8th, and will be celebrated with an album release performance at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York. Preview the first movement of this work below:

Katharina Rosenberger's "Folds" at National Sawdust

Katharina Rosenberger has had a busy winter: in December, her Modules was performed by the Ensemble KNM Berlin at the Heroines of Sound Festival; and in January, Rosenberger, the violinist Miranda Cuckson, and the media artist John Burnett premiered Folds at National Sawdust's FERUS Festival.

Folds begins from the cantata "Sino alla morte," composed by 17th-century composer-performer Barbara Strozzi, and interweaves that composition with new music for violin and electroacoustic sounds made by Rosenberger, accompanied by Burnett's projection work; the sounds are "folded" together, often quite literally, with the sounds of paper—manuscripts, sculptures, scraps, sometimes placed between the violin's strings themelves. 

Continuing this busy season, Rosenberger will see her 2013 work Gesang an das noch namenlose Land [Song for the yet nameless land] performed by Ensemble Contrechamps in Geneva and Sion, Switzerland. This work, made in collaboration with New York-based artist Abdolreza Aminlari, explores Amerigo Vespucci's 1503 publication, "Mundus-Novus," written discussing his travels to the "new world." Check out a recording of the work below. 

Tag Cloud